I cannot be the only driver on Portuguese roads to consider recent changes to the Highway Code to have little bearing on road safety. The amendments appear to be with one very unsubtle thought in mind: to fine drivers for as many misdemeanours as possible, as often as possible.
I discovered the changes when I went to renew my driving licence recently (again, this was another example of the country’s unattractive desire to strip people of their money. Why on earth do 50-year-olds need to renew their driving licences? Have we all gone gaga suddenly? Human beings are meant to be weathering better and better these days, but here in Portugal we are still considered ‘elderly’!)
Perhaps the new rule regarding roundabouts makes some sense, but the reality is that police are now hovering beside roundabouts, practically salivating with delight at the very good chance of finding unsuspecting drivers who don’t know that the rules have changed. There should be a leeway period where people are brought up to speed with the quite honestly grotesque zeal of our fine-hungry powermakers.
Bicycles, heaven forbid, may soon require their riders to seek third party insurance! Whatever next?!
I have always considered that Portugal’s rules are made by sad people in rooms without windows, but now it looks as if they are made by money-grabbing megalomaniacs on steroids.
Perhaps we should all go back to the horse and cart? It might at least cut down on the number of ownerless horses that are now roaming the highways and causing horrendous accidents because their owners can no longer afford to keep them.
Yours in despair…
Name and address withheld