Wednesday, January 07, 2009

CREATIVE ACCOUNTING: the Spanish government is boasting that traffic deaths plummeted 20 pct:
The death toll of traffic accidents has fallen to the lowest level in 44 years in Spain, Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said Monday.

In 2008, at total of 2,181 people were killed in traffic accidents, 20 per cent down from the previous year.
The trick? According to this report (Spanish link) in 2007 they changed the methodology. Unlike earlier years, they started counting just the deaths on the spot and within the first 24 hours, instead of within 30 days after the accident, and only the deaths outside urban areas. In 2007 that would have added 341 and 741 respectively, which would have left the figure more or less than the previous year (the 2008 data won't be known until an obscure official statistic is released at the end of 2009.