SPAIN A report by the Royal Automobile Club of Catalonia (RACC in its Spanish acronym) says that the Ministry of Development's budget for road maintenance has been reduced by 38% since 2009. The same report says that if the investment were doubled, the social cost of accidents would drop by 20%. The maths are simple: present investment is €31,662 per kilometre, almost half of that social cost, which averages €64,182/km. The RACC has published a roadmap of the social costs that applies cost-benefit formulae, which is applied for similar studies in Germany, among other countries. Social costs are>>>
defined by such factors as emergency service costs, medical attention, physical rehab, repairs, etc. Figures come out at an average of €1.4 million per death, and some €219,000 per injured driver or passenger. This does not even take into account the emotional damage of an accident and the need in most cases to seek professional help. No surprise to most of the residents of the Campo de Gibraltar or the Costas, the study concludes that the A-7 between Torremolinos and where it meets the A-45 is among the top ten high accident-rated roads in the country. In that list are also the A-48 between Chiclana and the N-340.
Five out of ten roads heading of the social cost are along the Mediterranean coastline and are not dual carriageways: the N-332 (Gandía, Valencia), the N-340 on several stretches, and the NII near Barcelona.
In fact, the social cost per kilometer is highest on 16 stretches of the N-340, over €200,000.
The report ends by pointing out that the map provides a way of setting priorities for investing what little money there may be (€818m this year) for maintenance because 'good maintenance diminishes accidents and the enormous human repercussions these mean'.