Pedestrian death toll too high

The General Transport Directorate (DGV) and the Society for the Prevention of Portuguese Road Accidents (PRP) have launched a publicity campaign directed at pedestrians, who currently account for 60 per cent of all road deaths.

The campaign, integrated into the National Road Accident Prevention Plan is titled “It’s better to stop here” and aims to reduce by half, the number of pedestrians killed on Portuguese roads. “We need to put an end to these road deaths,” said Minister for Internal Administration, António Figueiredo Lopes. Last year 246 pedestrians were killed on Portugal’s roads, only 51 less than in 2002, something which José Manuel Trigoso, the Secretary General of the Road Traffic Plan, describes as a “barbarity”.

In another safety campaign, shock tactics are being used. Four particularly disturbing first-hand accounts from people involved in accidents are included in the publicity awareness campaign aimed at protecting pedestrians. The campaign features various testimonials from people who have lost families – parents as well as children – when they were hit on zebra crossings. The campaign also features a statement from a young driver who admits knocking down and killing a pedestrian on a zebra crossing.