Malta’s roads have a reputation for being a bit… wild. Be it the dangerous drivers, the lack of indicator use, or the actual roads themselves, there is no lack of potential fatality while cruising along this little island’s roads.
However, a modern threat has arisen, one that the Maltese have taken to like fish to water. Mobiles. Specifically, driving while speaking on the mobile.
Since the introduction of mobiles – or telecells as they were once referred to – Maltese people have increasingly been caught driving while on the phone. And the problem is getting worse by the month.
Just to give you an idea of how we are progressing, an average of 380 fines for mobile-related infractions were given out per month in 2016.
539 fines were given out just this past July.
As mobile use goes up in the population, it can be expected that mobile use while driving will also increase. However, it seems like enforcement has not increased proportionally.
But the Local Enforcement System Agency said that if drivers don’t do their part, respect the law, and respect the wardens who are trying to keep the road safe, we are doomed before we start.
There are currently 60 wardens working daily, from Monday to Saturday. Plans to increase the amount of wardens are being considered, alongside a raising of the fine since last year’s raise to €100 euros per fine hasn’t had a massive effect.
“It is clear the €100 fine is not enough. The deterrent has to be higher,” said Elizabeth Vassallo, director of operations at LESA. In her opinion, a progressive fine would be best for Malta. This would mean that every time you get caught, the fine gets higher and higher.
‘It is clear the €100 fine is not enough’
Whatever is to be done, one thing is for sure: Malta’s already dangerous and congested roads are getting more and more dangerous and congested.