It’s easy to see why people are terrified of COVID-19. We had little control over its outbreak and have been forced to adapt to combat the spread of the potentially fatal virus.
With three traffic fatalities in the space of a week, questions must be asked why drastic measures have never been applied to tackle the tarmacked virus.
Since COVID-19 first hit the islands, four have died with police catching eager speedsters on a regular basis. Two other people died in the preceding three months.
The issue is not even new. Last year, 16 people died in traffic-related accidents. That’s one death every three weeks, the same average Malta’s had over the last two decades.
Meanwhile, with over 14,000 accidents a year, there is an untold story to Malta’s haphazard driving.
There are hundreds of people who suffer injuries every single year, while over 80 walk away with grievous injuries. Broken limbs and gashing wounds from traffic collisions are regular features of Malta’s emergency rooms.
However, it’s been over four years since former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat promised Lovin Malta that he would impose draconian measures to curb the pervasive virus and nothing has really changed.
With the Police’s traffic section facing a department-wide scandal over an extra-duty racket, will we have to wait for more people to die for serious action to be taken?
Here are the four people who have died since April:
1. 12th April: Alex ‘iċ-Ċoqqos’ Borg
Avid motorcyclist Alex ‘iċ-Ċoqqos’ Borg, 38, tragically lost his life on 12th April after crashing into another vehicle on the Mrieħel Bypass.
“Makes you think how fragile our life is and how much we should cherish every moment we have on this planet,” Christian Schembri, his cousin, said in the aftermath.
2. 7th May: Elenia Briffa
Elenia Briffa, a 19-year-old postwoman died in a traffic accident in Marsa while on her way to deliver the mail.
Elenia was driving her work vehicle, a Paxster, at around 8am when it overturned along Triq Ħal Qormi, close to MaltaPost’s headquarters. She was flung out into the road and the vehicle landed on top of her.
She left behind a loving partner, friends, and family.
“I cannot put into words what I am feeling, that I’ll never see your smile again, or hear your voice. I love you my beautiful angel, watch over me from up there,” her partner wrote.
3. 11th May: Frank Aloisio
Frank Aloisio, a 51-year-old motorcyclist, died on impact in an accident on the Coast Road at 6:15pm. He lost control of his motorcycle, skidded and ended up between two barriers.
Family and friends also quickly took Facebook to express their grief and shock over the tragic news.
4. 14th May: Ian Camilleri
Ian Camilleri, who lived in Birkirkara, died in a traffic accident in Regional Road at around 12:15am this morning while driving his BMW motorcycle.
Three other vehicles were involved in the accident, including another motorcycle and two cars.
“You’ve left me without words this morning. Rest in peace and take care of us, especially your family, I love you, my friend. I’ll never forget you, Ian, thank you for the memories and the laughter… until we meet again,” one friend emotionally posted following the news of his death.
The other motorcyclist, a 40-year-old man from Ħamrun, suffered injuries as well.