New traffic signs come into effect today in 21st century’s first Highway Code upgrade

From today (Monday April 20) drivers will have to start living with a new collection of road signs.

Designed to give the roads’ most vulnerable users – pedestrians and cyclists – greater protection, they involve new 30 km/ h and even 20km/ h speed limits in built-up areas.

Some of these areas are to be designated “areas of residency and co-existence” – places where vehicles ‘lose their priority when it comes to road’.

Explain reports, in total, the changes involve around 100 new signs which will gradually start being installed.

Areas of residency and co-existence will see ‘sleeping policemen’ and other obstacles positioned to make driving at speed virtually impossible.

It’s not explained whether there will be many of these specially-protected areas in the Algarve – but certainly some of the new signs will apply to the region: particularly those depicting Alojamento Local or ‘nature tourism’, and warning signs for drivers to be aware ‘amphibians’ and/ or Iberian Lynx could be on the road.

The changes are part of ANSR road safety authority’s strategy PENSE 2020 (Think 2020) and include specific signage to show people travelling in motorhomes where they CAN stop (not just where they can’t…).

One of the more ‘retro’ changes is the acceptance of ‘hand signals’ by drivers for occasions when their vehicle’s indicator lights have failed.

Says Correio da Manhã, pedestrians are the overall beneficiaries of this new legislation, but if they are ever found ‘disrespecting signs specifically designed for their benefit’ they face fines of between €10 and €50.