The Malta Independent 2 December 2023, Saturday
View E-Paper

TMID Editorial: Road safety

Friday, 26 May 2023, 12:17 Last update: about 7 months ago

Road safety must be a priority.

We have witnessed, over the past weeks, a number of traffic accidents where people suffered injuries, or worse, lost their lives.

Here are just a few of the recent incidents the police had informed the press about: on 21 May, a nine-year-old girl was injured when she was hit by a car on Dawret it-Torri, Santa Luċija. On 23 May, an elderly man who was riding as a passenger in a car was grievously injured after the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed in Blat il-Qamar Street, Siġġiewi. Also on 23 May, up to 14 people suffered injuries after an accident involving a bus and a car in Gozo. Luckily, nobody was seriously injured. On 24 May, a 55-year-old man who was riding a Kymco agility bike was grievously injured in a traffic accident on Triq il-Marsa, Marsa. On 25 May, a motorcyclist was seriously injured after a collision with another vehicle on Mdina road in Attard. Then, of course, there was the tragic death of a 17-year-old girl, Kacey Sciberras, who was in the passenger seat of a car which the driver lost control of on the Central Link in Attard on 21 May.


There are so many accidents that it is hard to keep track.

A blink of an eye is all it takes to ruin your life, or that of someone else.

We cannot stress enough just how important it is to stay focused on the road and obey road regulations. Following the rules reduces the risk of accidents.

Don’t speed, don’t use your phone, don’t drive dangerously. Risking your life and the lives of others is not worth it.

Changes introducing harsher traffic fines and penalty points have come into effect. Among the changes, the fine for a person found guilty of driving through a red light will increase from €100 to €200 and speeding over 15 km/h over the speed limit will see the fine increase from €69.88 to €100. 

Hopefully these will act as a deterrent. We must stress, however, the need for more enforcement on the roads. It is pointless having rules in place saying drivers shouldn’t be on their phones for instance, if there aren’t enough traffic personnel on the streets to catch them.

But there are things which the road authorities could do to prevent more accidents. For instance, many of us know areas where people tend to overspeed, and surely the authorities also know this. Indeed speed cameras have been installed in a number of problem areas. However, the way things were handled on the Central Link is shocking.

If the area is known by residents to be a place where speeding takes place, then it goes without question that the authorities should have installed speed cameras. It transpires that the Attard local council had been asking Transport Malta to implement speed cameras along Central Link for over a year and a half. Attard Mayor Stefan Cordina informed The Malta Independent that “way back in November 2021, the Council asked for an urgent meeting with Transport Malta officials regarding the overspeeding along the Central Link.”

“We kept sending constant reminders and also met with TM officials. We asked TM to take action several times,” Cordina said. Attard Labour Party councillor Victor Galea had spoken to Net TV and slammed Transport Malta for not installing speed cameras in the area where Kacey Sciberras lost her life. 

Cordina said that the council receives complaints “that overspeeding occurs daily, especially late at night and during the weekends.”

It is absolutely shameful for Transport Malta to have ignored requests by the local council for road safety features for so long. There are absolutely no excuses. The Times of Malta received a response from TM where it said that it is waiting for the recommendations of an external safety audit on the Central Link road, which is in its “final stages,” before installing safety features. But, with all due respect, the council had pointed out the need for cameras over a year ago, and action should have been taken then.

Now, just yesterday, Transport Malta said it is taking “swift action” to address concerns and reduce road accidents in Attard, specifically on Triq Tumas Chetcuti, but no speed cameras are as yet planned for the area. ‘Swift’ action would have been a year ago. In a statement, TM said: “Speed contravention information provided by LESA clearly demonstrates that, irrespective of the presence of speed cameras, a small percentage of motorists persist in travelling at excessively dangerous speeds; with highest speeds being recorded that are typically more than double the speed limit on the road where the speed camera is located. Transport Malta also emphasizes that speed cameras do not guarantee prevention of fatalities on our roads, highlighting the significance of everyone demonstrating responsibility towards each other while adhering to the laws.” Yes, but one must point out that it surely helps. Many people speeding tend to slow down when coming to a speed camera, so while perhaps it doesn’t guarantee the prevention of fatalities, it surely reduces the possibility of accidents.

Whatever measures TM takes to prevent accidents on the road in question, it should take them fast and make sure that they are effective.

  • don't miss