Opinions

Are Malta’s Roads Safe?

The quality of the roads in Malta is a popular topic of discussion with a variety of opinions. A lot will say that the roads in Malta need to be improved due to the number of potholes and their limitations for large amounts of traffic. We write this article in the wake of the recent horror fatal accidents which took place in Mgarr. The traffic accident involved a Maruti which was packed with six people, travelling at a certain speed and steered onto the wrong side of the road, just before the accident.

The reason for this accident is yet to be established as preliminary tests excluded a mechanical fault or a burst tyre which would have sent the car in the wrong direction. The accident took place at around nine in the evening as the Maruti collided with an oncoming Audi A1, claiming the lives of a mother and daughter. The deceased are two women from Żabbar, Graziella Mallia, aged 53 and her daughter Fallon, aged 31. Together with these women, there were another four people, all taken to hospital, with two passengers, including Fallon Mallia’s son being seriously injured. The Audi was being driven by a thirty-one-year-old who had an eleven and one-year-old, who were seriously injured, and a ten-year-old who was slightly injured.

This leads to an important question. Should there have been a strong barrier separating these two lanes? Are Malta’s roads safe for drivers? This is all the more an important question when considering that there are a number of road projects taking place in Malta and optimal safety standards should be kept.

In light of the recent accident, Infrastructure Malta has commented that the roadworks in place had nothing to do with the collision. It is argued that since the collision took place in the southbound lane of Triq Sir Temi Zammit, where no works are currently taking place and that the road signs warn drivers about roadworks at Triq il-Buqana, the accident cannot be associated with road repair and maintenance.

This accident also spurred a comment from the Transport Minister, Ian Borg who stated that the road works were by no means related to the accident. Questions were also asked in Parliament to which Ian Borg replied that it would be best to proceed with caution and await the magisterial enquiry before discussing the matter further. In this regard, Ian Borg emphasised that Infrastructure Malta does not await such accidents before monitoring and investigating road safety.

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