News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
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Massive tailbacks on N340 after lorry turns overThe accident at the infamous Cala de Mijas bend caused a 12 km traffic jam
By Suzan Davenport
DRIVERS travelling along the N-340 dual carriageway between Mijas and Marbella on Tuesday were trapped for hours after a lorry turned over at the infamous La Cala bend - one of the most dangerous traffic black spots in the province.
The accident, which happened at 11am, luckily did not involve any other vehicles. The 34-year-old driver suffered slight injuries to an arm and was taken to Marbella's Costa del Sol hospital for treatment.
Police closed the westbound lanes, causing 12 kilometres of tailbacks, while they waited for a specialised crane to come in and lift the articulated vehicle.
Work to clear the accident continued until 5pm with the road finally being reopened at 6.30pm, according to town hall sources. Mijas town hall said it had only recently installed signs to indicate alternative routes in the case of an accident on the N-340. This meant that some drivers were able to turn off the road at El Chaparral. Others were trapped for hours.
Local police sent extra officers to help indicate alternative routes and try to alleviate the situation.
Unfortunately accidents at this curve have become commonplace. The president of the La Cala neighbourhood association, Francisco Spúlveda said that at least two or three happen every year and that Tuesday's incident came as no surprise to him.
Spain wants to adopt a zero tolerance approach to drink driving
By Dave Jamieson
THE NEW head of Tráfico, María Seguí, said last week that, in the future, drivers found with any alcohol in their systems will be committing an offence
At present, the legal levels are a maximum of 0.5 grams per litre in blood and 0.25 grams per millilitre in expelled air, although this is lowered to 0.3 and 0.15 grams respectively for new and professional drivers.
When the revised measure goes through, all these figures will be reduced to zero.
Tráfico wants to extend its zero tolerance approach on drugs to alcohol.
This has already been adopted by countries including Germany and Belgium where alcohol is banned as are a limited number of common drugs, and Finland and Sweden where, as well as zero alcohol, all drugs are banned unless covered by a prescription.
In Spain, 45 per cent of the drivers who died on the country's roads in 2011 had consumed either alcohol or drugs.
Half of the accidents happened at weekends, and up to 60 per cent took place at night.
Unions plan massive protests and strike action
Groups call for public referendum to be held on government's austerity measures
By Oliver McIntyre
TRADE unions have announced a series of protests over coming weeks, culminating in a massive march on Madrid on September 15, in protest over the government's austerity measures.
The unions have also demanded a public referendum on the measures and threatened a full-scale general strike if the government does not change course.
The moves were agreed during a 'social summit' organised last week by the CC.OO and UGT unions and around 150 other unions, associations, cultural organisations and other groups in opposition to the government policies.
The groups represented ranged from doctors and lawyers to police, environmentalists, athletes, actors and journalists, among others.
"Summertime is not going to put an end to the demonstrations against the useless and economically suicidal measures of the government," said Ignacio Fernández Toxo, the secretary general of CC.OO.
During the month of August the groups plan to protest each Friday - coinciding with the weekly Cabinet meetings - outside symbolic buildings and government offices in cities across the country.
Throughout the month they will hand out brochures and flyers in strategic points such as airports and train stations highlighting the government's "erratic" policies.