Ten people were killed on the Balearics roads over the Christmas holidays, two more than last year. With the holidays now officially over, the Guardia Civil Traffic department yesterday produced the tragic figures for the holiday death toll in the Balearics and across Spain. Between December 20 and midnight on January 7, ten lives were lost in the Balearics, 12 people seriously injured and just one slightly hurt. The Balearics is one of seven autonomous regions where the Christmas holiday death toll rose. Sadly, in the Balearics, four people have been killed on the roads in the past week, three in the past two days. Over the holidays there were a total 170 accidents across Spain with 202 people losing their lives. This year, traffic police are going to be tougher than ever on enforcing the recently tightened traffic regulations. Failure to use hands-free mobile telephone kits will result in heavy on-the-spot fines, as will failure to wear seat belts and crash helmets in the case of motorcyclists. The authorities will also be cracking down on speeding, the main cause of the 101 accidents which occurred last year in the Balearics claiming a total 101 lives. The fact that last year's fatal accidents figures were 5.5 per cent down on 2001 has encouraged the police and local authorities, still traffic bosses are determined to reduce the death toll further while improving road safety and security. There were more accidents last year than in 2001, 101 compared to 74, but the death toll was lower. Three lives were lost in the space of 48 hours in Majorca this week which has caused concern and forced the police to remind drivers to drive with extreme care and precaution in the bad weather currently sweeping the region. Saturday's accident involving a fire engine on the Son Castello industrial estate on the outskirts of Palma has also heightened the importance for drivers to obey the highway code. The accident was caused by a van driver who failed to give way at a stop sign as the fire engine crossed the junction, hitting the rear of the fire truck. The van driver claims he did not see the stop sign. Fortunately of the eight injured none were critically hurt, although all were treated in hospital.

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