Police start road safety campaign following deadly 2018

By Brendan de Beer, in News · 31-01-2019 10:13:00 · 0 Comments
Police start road safety campaign following deadly 2018

On Thursday, GNR police started an extraordinary road safety campaign which is aimed at reducing serious traffic accidents in the wake of the higher number of fatalities recorded during the course of last year.

Operation Estrada Segura or Safe Road, is to run until the end of next month, and will seek to encourage drivers to practice defensive and safer driving.

According to provisional figures from 2018, 69 percent of accidents that resulted in fatalities took place on national roads or streets, with the districts of Porto, Santarém, Setúbal and Faro the worst affected.

Of the more than 80 accidents registered in 2018, 72 percent were due to collisions, while the number of pedestrians hit by cars rose by 11 percent, resulting in 69 fatalities of which three-quarters were aged 50 or older.

GNR traffic officials said the action set for the coming days will therefore be focussed along national roads, streets in residential areas and previously identified accident hot-spots.

Reckless drivers will be topping the list of police scrutiny, who will focus on dangerous overtaking manoeuvres, sudden changes of direction and parking within five metres of pedestrian crossings.

The usual culprits, such as speeding, driving under the influence, not using lights or indicators and unauthorised use of mobile phones will also be targeted by traffic police.

Police were hastened into action outside of the traditional holiday periods after 2018 once more proved to be a deadly one on the nation’s roads.

Having already increased on the year before in 2017, road deaths rose again last year, making it the first time since 1996 that fatalities had risen over two consecutive years.

Following the substantial rise in deaths in 2017, the Government said that it was aiming to build on the fact that Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world, by making roads safer in 2018.

Last year, the European Union singled out Portugal in a report for failing to follow the example of other member states in cutting back road deaths.

A report by the EU revealed that the number of deaths on Portuguese roads rose 14 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, which it said was the second highest increase recorded in the EU, where the average actually fell by two percent.

In 2017, an average of 62 people per million died in Portugal (in the EU, this average was 49 per million), whereas in the previous year there were 54 deaths (EU 50) per million.

The government has repeatedly said it will reflect on what intervention is necessary with regard to the three main issues, namely, people being run over, drink-driving, and accidents involving motorbikes.

With a rise in road deaths for the first time in decades, the ANSR admitted that traffic fines issued had dropped by 20 percent in 2017. However, additional data indicated that the number of fines handed to foreigners visiting the country in their cars had risen from little over 7,000 in 2014 to 30,458 in 2016.


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