Photo: Google Street View

Gozo has registered the biggest increase in traffic accidents in the second quarter of 2022 with a 33% rise in the number of reported collisions in just a year. The trend could be a further indicator that the sister island is at risk of losing it unique charm of being a quiet spot where time stood still.  Concerns on the future of Gozo are especially being raised in the wake of the rapid development which critics say is turning the island into an extension of Malta. The views were recently echoed by former Prime Minister Alfred Sant and the Gozo Tourism Association.

The sharp increase in traffic accidents in Gozo came to light in a recent release by the National Statistics Office for the period between April and June of this year. Tough an increase in traffic accidents was recorded across the board in all regions, the rise was mostly pronounced in Gozo where during the period under review accidents rose from 213 to 283 which translates to a 33% increase. In comparison the nationwide increase was almost half at 18% with the second biggest rise being registered in the northern part of Malta.  A further analysis of the statistics reveals that when it comes to serious accidents involving injured parties, the rise in Gozo was even higher with the number of cases almost doubling from 26 to 51. In comparison the nationwide average increase of injuries was of just 6.3%.

Looking at the bigger picture the largest number of road traffic casualties in Malta and Gozo involved passenger cars (57.6%), followed by motorcycles (34.5%) and goods-carrying vehicles (4.6%). In the second quarters of this year there were six fatalities when compared to just one in the corresponding period of 2021.  These comprised two drivers hitting another vehicle, a driver crashing into a property and three pedestrians (passengers in a car) hit by a vehicle. Cyclists involved in traffic accidents amounted to 11 and all suffered slight injuries. Road traffic casualties resulting from accidents between vehicles topped the list with 76.5 % of all road traffic casualties.

The highest number of road traffic casualties occurred on Tuesdays with 80 casualties, while the highest number of road traffic accidents occurred on Mondays with 687 cases or 16.2 % of the total. The time bracket during which most road traffic accidents occurred was between 15:00 – 17:59 with 938 cases or 22.1% of the total, followed by the 09:00 – 11:59 time bracket with 915 cases. The least number of accidents occurring daily took place between 03:00 – 05:59 with 71 cases.

The highest incidence of road traffic accidents was registered in Birkirkara with 294 cases, followed by San Pawl il-Baħar and Ħal Qormi, with 218 and 206 cases respectively. Two localities registered less than five road traffic accidents. These are Santa Luċija and San Lawrenz.