In preparation for the arrival of Santa, followed not too long after by the Three Kings, the DGT has launched this year’s special operation on the roads.
The campaign was launched at 15:00 on Friday, and will run through until 7 January, with key times during the period, aimed at keeping the roads safer for the estimated 18.3 million trips, and will see greater surveillance of the fatal contributing factors to road traffic deaths and serious injuries, alcohol and drugs, distraction, not wearing a seat belt or helmet, and inappropriate speed,
During the 18 day period, there will be three main phases, the first is on now until midnight on Tuesday, the Christmas Campaign.
During this first phase, there is expected to be some 5.3 million journeys, whereas phase 2, which runs from Friday 28 December until 1 January, there will be 4.8 million trips.
The last phase, that of the Three Kings, will run from January 4 to 7, a festive day in most of the autonomous communities.
The main bulk of traffic will initially be those leaving the inland areas and heading towards second homes on the coast or mountainous areas, as well as shopping and leisure centres.
Speed checks will be carried out throughout the entire period, as will alcohol and drugs checks, both of which may occur at any time, day or night, and at any location.
As well as the Guardia Civil traffic department, colleagues from local, regional and national police will also be helping out, as will more than 13,000 road workers, and the entire fleet of 12 DGT helicopters, watching and enforcing from the air.
To ease the flow of traffic, there will also be 2,440 variable message panels being used and the 1,722 television cameras on the roads.
Everything from the DGT’s point of view is ready and set for a safe season, but much of it is down to us, the driver, to which the DGT insists on: “prevention and prudence” because, among other basic guidelines, they remind drivers to check the state of the road you are planning to drive on, and in adverse weather or poor visibility use your lights, increase the safety distance, use chains or winter tyres if necessary and rest every two hours.
It is also advisable never to lower your guard on short or regular journeys, because these areas often produce the highest number of incidents.