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Road deaths decreasing

THE NUMBER of people killed on Portuguese roads has fallen by 24 per cent in the last year.

Between January 1 and September 10 2006, road deaths fell from 2.9 deaths per day to 2.2.

So far this year, 568 people have been killed on Portugal’s roads, compared to 749 during the same period in 2005.

The decrease is largely due to drivers using their cars less because of increased fuel prices, as well as a general reduction in speed by road users.

The district of Guarda in northern Portugal is the only region that registered more deaths in 2006 than in 2005.

The introduction of the new Highway Code in March 2005 has also had a positive impact on road use. The new rules state that heavy fines will be imposed on those who drive under the effects of alcohol or drugs. Speeding and dangerous driving are also heavily punished.

There has also been a 7.9 per cent reduction in the number of serious injuries sustained on the road in 2006. In total, the number of victims fell from 34,335 to 32,121.