Speed cameras snapped motorists going faster than the speed limit more than 43,000 times in 2020, data released on Wednesday by the National Stastistics Office showed. 

The 43,269 speed camera contraventions issued that year were the equivalent of 118 every day. 

In a report on transport statistics for 2020, the NSO said police, community officers and Transport Malta issued 217,360 traffic contraventions that year - a 15% increase from the 189,023 issued in the previous year. 

That increase came despite there being fewer vehicles on the road for a good portion of that year, due to restrictions introduced following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fewer crashes and traffic casualties

According to the report, the number of reported traffic accidents decreased by 24.5% over 2019, with 34.7% of these accidents recorded in the Northern Harbour district. 

Traffic casualties also decreased by 28.4% when compared to 2019, and according to the data, 10 drivers sustained fatal injuries, whilst two deaths, one pedestrian and one passenger died as a result of a traffic accident. 

2020 saw the stock of licensed motor vehicles increase at an average net of 13 vehicles per day. The number of motorcycles and e-bicycles rose by 6.1% that year, though passenger cars, at 76.6% of all licensed motor vehicles, continued to dominate.

Almost 60% of licensed motor vehicles had petrol engines, while 2020 saw an increase of 26.5% of registered alternative powered motor vehicles.

The number of traffic tickets issued in 2020 rose by around 15%.The number of traffic tickets issued in 2020 rose by around 15%.

Malta's love affair with motor vehicles continued to fume in 2020, a year when there were 780 licenced vehicles per 1,000 residents. One year prior, that figure stood at 773. 

In the Gozo and Comino district there were more registered vehicles than people: it registered the highest number of vehicles per 1,000 residents at 1,179. The Norther Harbour registered the lowest ratio, with 618 vehicles per 1,000 residents.

In 2020, a total of 172 vehicles were stolen, 31.2% fewer than in 2019.

The report also noted a 41.2% decrease in public transport commuters, most likely linked to COVID-19 guidelines, which topped 33.7 million. 

According to the data, the NSO estimates that all the licenced vehicles in Malta travelled almost 2.5 billion km in 2020. 77% of that, or just under 1.9 billion km of the total distance travelled was covered by passenger cars. 

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