There were over 800 traffic accidents that resulted in fatalities or injuries over the past three years, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said in response to parliamentary questions.
The questions, made by Nationalist MP Joe Giglio over two sittings, asked how many traffic accidents involving fatalities and injuries there were since 2020. In the replies, Camilleri said that, according to figures compiled by the police, there were 244 accidents that resulted in 12 fatalities and 232 injuries in 2020.
There were 323 accidents in 2021 that included nine fatalities and 314 injuries. The extent of the injuries was not specified.
As for this year, between January and August, there were 16 fatalities and 235 injuries. In another two cases, the magisterial inquiry still needed to determine if the cause of death was a result of the traffic accident.
According to media reports, there have been another four traffic fatalities since August.
On September 28, 21-year-old Ben Laferla became the 20th fatality this year.
Laferla, of Naxxar, died a few days after suffering serious injuries in a crash on Triq il-Madliena on September 24 at 1.30am. He was a passenger in a rented Renault Zoe that was being driven by a 17-year-old woman from St Paul’s Bay. She was slightly injured in the accident.
Inside the car were two other passengers – a greviously injured 19-year-old Chilean woman, who lives in St Julian’s, and a 20-year-old Swiss man from Swieqi, who suffered slight injuries.
Times of Malta reported that this year’s mid-year figure of 15 road fatalities was the highest in a quarter of a century. A recent study published in the Malta Medical Journal drew attention to the lack of a consistent and professional road safety campaign to address the increasing number of traffic fatalities.
Kasia Lyczkowska, who survived a traffic accident which killed her partner four years ago, has gone on record saying she believes drivers should be taught awareness of the real repercussions of accidents to try to deter negligent behaviour.
She said learners should be shown photos or videos of accidents, injuries and car wrecks or requested to read or watch stories of traffic accident survivors.
Pierre Vella, executive chair of the Malta Road Safety Council, said he agrees on the need for better road safety education.