Malta experienced an 18% increase in fatal accidents on the road between 2001 and 2017, as other European countries experienced a decrease, leading a recent report by the European Data Journalism Network to state “there is something wrong on the island”.
The number of people killed in traffic accidents across the EU in that period dropped by 50% – from 54,000 to 25,300. This downward trend was experienced across all Member States, apart from Malta where the number of fatalities has actually increased.
“There is something going wrong on the island”, according to the report entitled ‘Are speed cameras saving lives, and are old cars dangerous?’ The report notes that Malta has the second highest rate of speed cameras, “but that has yet to lead to better results”.
Malta may have a mortality rate of 43 per million inhabitants, seven below the EU average of 50, but the country is failing to improve. Even Romania which has the highest amount of fatalities registered at 98 per million inhabitants, bettered their rate by 20% instead of dropping further.
According to the data, the age of the car also has little impact on the number of accidents and fatalities. The average age of a car on the Maltese roads is just under 8 years old, similar to Italy who has less speed cameras and less accidents.
Romania, Bulgaria and Poland have poor accidents statistics, despite driving cars that are, on average, newer than Maltese cars.
Data from Eurostat shows that Malta has the third highest number of cars per 1,000 inhabitants in the EU, with one vehicle for every 1.6 persons. It ranks after Luxembourg with 662 cars and Italy with 625 cars per 1000 inhabitants.