Road accidents in Spain, have for the first time since 1963 dropped below the 400 mark for the summer holiday period.

The 2009 figure stands at 377,down from 447 in 2008 and the lowest in nearly half a century for the months of July and August, the country’s Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba has revealed.

According to the minister, there was a 58% decrease in road deaths between the hours of midnight and 7am and a 70% reduction in road deaths for people in the 15-24 age bracket.

The number of motorcyclists’ deaths have also gone down by 10 compared to 2008.

The minister said the statistics show that the country’s new road safety policies are working.

Spain introduced a driver’s licence penalty points system in July 2006 and in 2007 penalties were stiffened for traffic violations such as speeding and drink driving.