New Highway Code in force

news: New Highway Code in force

THE NEW Código da Estrada (Highway Code) has been issued and includes many changes, though most are minor and relate to levels of fines.

There are two significant changes to the Código that will come into force tomorrow (March 26), one being about driving licences. Article 122 (item 12) states that EU citizens, who “fix residency in Portugal, must, within 30 days”, inform the authorities of their residence here, “in order to update the registration of the driver”. However, the DGV has not yet decided whether to continue to compel foreign residents to apply for a Portuguese licence, or to provide a ‘Certificate of Registration’ to foreign residents. AFPOP will continue to press for a definite answer to this question and will let its members know when a decision has been made. We hope to be able to include the final answer in the April edition of AFPOP’s UPDATE newsletter. What is certain, though, is that foreigners must register with the Direcção Geral de Viação (DGV) or Automóvel Clube de Portugal (ACP) within 30 days of the Código coming into force.

Another change to the Código is the obligation to carry fluorescent vests inside the vehicle (not in the boot), which must be yellow with two grey stripes and conform to standard EN 471. Please check the label in the vest and make sure that this number is there. If it is not and you are stopped by the police, on the first occasion, you should be warned by the officer to buy the correct vest, but eventually the police will start to issue fines if you are carrying the wrong vest – some vests do not have sufficient reflective capabilities and are considered unsuitable.

There have been rumours about the obligation of carrying a second warning triangle and a spare lamp set being included in the new Código, but AFPOP has checked with both the DGV and the Brigada de Trânsito (Traffic Brigade), and can confirm this is not the case and there are no changes in these areas.

AFPOP has been told by the GNR that they will be stopping motorists to check compliance as soon as the Código comes into force. AFPOP members will receive a fuller breakdown of the most significant changes to the Código in the April UPDATE.

• For more information on the new Highway Code, about AFPOP membership and the services the association provides, contact the AFPOP office on 282 458 509, e-mail [email protected]

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