It is a dubious honour, but Malaga province continues to be near the top of the list in terms of traffic offences and the money raised from those who commit them. Despite being smaller in size than many other regions of Spain, it comes second only to Madrid in terms of income from traffic fines.
The figures were revealed in parliament recently in response to a question from socialist MP Miguel Ángel Heredia. In total, in 2016 drivers who committed traffic offences on the main road network of Malaga province (basically on the A-45 Las Pedrizas motorway, the A-7 dual carriageway and the Malaga city bypasses) paid nearly 9.7 million euros in fines.
The amount paid in the Spanish capital was more, around 11.4 million euros, and next on the list after Malaga came Murcia, with 9.2 million, and La Coruña and Seville, which were almost identical: 7.3 million and 7.4 million euros respectively. (It should be noted that the figures do not include Catalonia or the Basque Country).
In addition to the above, Malaga is also high on the list of fines issued. Many of these were the result of fixed and mobile speed traps, but in total 224,386 penalties were issued last year. Once again, Madrid topped the list in this respect with 377,878, followed by Murcia with 231,787, then Malaga, and Seville in fourth place with 217,998.
As well as the permanent speed cameras on the A-45 and A-7, which are also among those which produce most fines, something else partly explains this situation. Malaga is one of the Spanish provinces with the most traffic on its roads, because of tourism. The Daily Average Intensity (IMD), the indicator which is used to measure the use of roads, grew again last year by about 12 per cent over the whole network (until September, the last available figure), after several years in which it went down or barely changed.
Every day, an average of 222,000 vehicles drive on the access roads to Malaga city, one of the highest intensities of traffic in the country.
SUR has tried without success to obtain an explanation from the Traffic Department about why Malaga has such a high ratio of fines in comparison with the rest of the country.
MP Miguel Ángel Heredia, who asked the question in parliament, asked how Malaga can be the second province in terms of income from traffic fines when it doesn't occupy the same position with regard to volume of traffic. He also pointed out that every year the government receives more money from this source: 5.7 million euros in 2013, 8.7 million in 2014, and last year the figure rose once again.
A money earner
"The radars aren't located in areas with the highest number of accidents. They just want to catch drivers speeding; the government is only interested in raising money," says Heredia, who wants the nearly 9.7 million euros the state receives to be spent on road safety, resurfacing, better signs and eliminating accident black spots in the province.
million euros were paid in traffic fines in Malaga province in 2016, the second highest amount in the whole of Spain.
traffic fines were issued in the province last year, the third highest number in the country.