There were more than nine thousand road accidents in Barcelona last year, with 22 fatalities, most of them motorcyclists. There were also 202 serious injuries, some 15% less than in 2018. Cars, motorbikes, vans and taxis accounted for 85% of the 18,975 vehicles involved in accidents, with personal mobility vehicles involved in 36% of cases. In a bid to cut accident rates, the city has taken on the challenge of progressively introducing 30 km/h speed limits citywide, which should reduce cases of people getting run over by 40%. The Local Road Safety Plan 2019-2022 is also being developed, with various measures to cut road accidents in the city.
Road accident figures for deaths, serious injuries and minor injuries in Barcelona in 2019 were very similar to the previous year. There were 9,251 accidents last year, in other words around 25 a day, compared to 9,180 in 2018.
There were 22 road deaths in the city in 2019, two more than in 2018, and 202 people sustained injuries, some 15.35% less than the previous year (224) and two thirds less than in 2004 (596). Some 91% of serious injuries from road accidents corresponded to the most vulnerable collectives on the roads: motorcyclists, pedestrians, cyclists and people using personal mobility vehicles such as electric scooters.
Out of the 18,975 vehicles involved in road accidents last year, 52% corresponded to cars, vans and taxis, while there was a fourfold increase in the number of accidents with personal mobility vehicles, the total rising from 129 to 490.
The main causes of road accidents are due to:
- Driver error: lack of concentration, not respecting safety distances and driving at inappropriate speeds.
- Pedestrians: disobeying traffic lights, not using pedestrian crossings and walking in the road.
Barcelona City Council is behind various road safety and safety mobility measures which protect the most vulnerable collectives to reduce the risk of accidents in the city.
Local Road Safety Plan 2019-2022
The Local Road Safety Plan 2019-2022 is the main instrument Barcelona City Council has for improving road safety, cutting accident rates and planning mobility in the city, along with the Urban Mobility Plan.
The plan includes 95 measures and 124 specific actions with a common goal: a 20% reduction in the number of road deaths by 2022 and a 16% drop in serious injuries. Priority will be given to resolving the most common problems and causes of road accidents.
The plan adapts to new forms of mobility (electric scooters, moped-sharing, bicycles), with specific measures to reduce accidents involving motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, who are most at risk, and also to promote prevention and raise public awareness.
Barcelona has taken on the challenge of becoming a metropolis where a maximum speed of 30 km/h applies. This measure is needed to improve the safety of pedestrians and to cut accident rates and the severity of injuries. Cutting maximum speeds from 50 km/h to 30 km/h will reduce the death rate from 45% to 5% in cases where people get run over.
The next two years will see 30 km/h limits established along 212 kilometres of streets, representing 75% of the city’s road network. The goal is for the 30 km/h limit to end up being applied citywide.
Road safety training for senior citizens, schools and companies
The City Police offer training sessions for different groups to help prevent road accidents and boost road safety. Workshops were organised last year with elderly people, one of the most vulnerable groups, with companies, to reduce accidents suffered by people going to or from their place of work, and with schools, with practical information sessions to promote road safety among children and teenagers.
‘Protecting schools’ is an initiative which seeks to improve environmental quality and safety for children by creating more pedestrian-friendly zones at 200 schools by 2023. Priority will be given to schools where pollution is highest and those where road safety poses the greatest risk. The City Police will be running training sessions with parents so they can voluntarily help with safety when children are entering and leaving schools.