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Death toll on Portuguese roads “just keeps on climbing”

Whether one likes to blame it on speeding, drink-driving, rainfall or motorway tolls, the truth is that the number of deaths on Portuguese roads just keeps on climbing.

New statistics out this week show that up until November 15 this year, there have been 374 traffic related deaths so far this year – and a total of 6,700 in the last 10 years.

National tabloid Correio da Manhã explains this is equivalent to the entire population of Castro Marim.

In commemoration of world day of remembrance for road traffic victims, fatalities on national roads were given added prominence.

Just over the weekend, four people died – two of them the parents of a 16-year-old boy who himself sustained serious injuries in the crash on the way to a family holiday in the Algarve.

Indeed, the Algarve is where many serious accidents have been registered – particularly since the A22 tolls pushed drivers back on to the ill-equipped EN125.

According to a report in CM on Saturday, the number of accidents in the region in the last two years has increased by 2000 – one of the latest happening on the A22 itself. Fortunately, in this instance the family of holidaymakers involved all escaped with minor injuries.

But among the data reported up to November 15, 29 road deaths related to the Algarve – the last two being an ‘accident waiting to happen’ on the poorly-surfaced EN124 near Silves.

Bloody Sunday last weekend saw one accident “so brutal that the engine of one of the cars as projected into the middle of the EN14 (northbound carriageway) in Maia”.

In all four cars were involved, with one of the occupants – a 70-year-old man – killed outright.

Another fatality came later on Sunday when a car driven by a 20-year-old careered into a stationary van. The passenger accompanying the youth – a boy of 15 – was killed in the impact.

The couple who died in what appears to have been an accident prompted by a slippery road surface near Santana da Serra (Ourique) were connected to the Indian embassy.

Driver Devasia Mannarath, 53, was an aide at the embassy and driving an embassy vehicle.

He and his wife Betsy Dominic were pronounced dead at Castro Verde health centre, while their badly hurt son Dev was taken to hospital in Beja and later transferred to Lisbon “complaining of strong chest pains”.

Elsewhere, accidents were reported throughout the country with even Sporting footballer Gelson Martins coming off the road in Lisbon in a BMW, two policemen being injured in a crash with another vehicle in Quinta do Conde, Sesimbra and a large lorry crashing onto its side, injuring three people including a child, in Amadora.

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