A transport safety commission is to be set up to investigate the causes of fatal road accidents as traffic deaths soar to record highs.
The measure is expected to be announced on Wednesday as part of a wider plan to tackle the crisis on Malta’s roads.
Twenty-six people have so far been killed this year, the highest number since the National Statistics Office began collecting data on fatalities.
But road safety experts have long complained that there is a lack of information on the reasons behind fatal accidents with the conclusions of magisterial inquiries delayed and kept secret.
It is understood that Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia will announce the setting up of a Road Safety Investigations Commission which will be tasked to look into the causes of fatal accidents and come up with recommendations to relevant authorities.
The road safety council is also expected to be beefed up and the country’s road safety strategy revised.
Farrugia has previously confirmed to Times of Malta that his wider road safety plan will include increased fines and penalty points for a number of contraventions but it is not expected that these will be detailed on Wednesday.
When its 10-year strategy was written in 2014, the transport ministry had acknowledged that there was “still not enough information regarding the accident causation itself”.
It pointed out that the accident report sheet provides few details of the actual cause of the accidents.
The document also described the “serious limitations related to the lengthy time of magisterial inquiry and the situation where we are not allowed access to the court ‘process verbale’”.
It said that this resulted in no information being available on wearing seatbelts, drunk driving, drug driving, fatigue and other possible causes of accidents.
Nonetheless, the strategy made several ambitious objectives including to “eliminate” drink driving, drug driving and the illegal use of the mobile phone whilst driving.
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