By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]
Civil Governor Isilda Gomes has praised the work of security forces as the number of fatalities recorded on the Algarve roads in 2008 was down by almost 35 per cent compared to 2007.
Last year saw the lowest number of road deaths for more than a decade: “The reduction in deaths in the region demonstrates the effectiveness of work by the security forces in developing prevention strategies, and the success of awareness campaigns in the area focusing on increasing road users’ compliance with traffic laws,” said Isilda Gomes.
During 2008, 46 people died on the roads in the Algarve, compared with 72 during 2007.
The statistics, gathered by ANSR, the national road safety authority of Portugal, also revealed that there had been a reduction in the number of serious injuries from 277 to 186, a fall of 33 per cent.
Gone are the days when the EN 125 was known as the most dangerous road in Europe.
The latest figures show that the Algarve is now one of the safest regions in the country, with the second lowest number of road deaths and serious injuries recorded in Portugal.
Statistics from ANSR have shown that the fall is in line with generally lower recorded numbers at a national level.
However, the Algarve numbers have dropped considerably in comparison with the rest of Portugal.
In total, 772 people died in road accidents in 2008 compared with 854 in 2007, representing a 10 per cent reduction, while those suffering from serious injuries as a result of a road accident fell by 16 per cent from 3,116 to 2,587.
Despite the encouraging statistics, Isilda Gomes points out that there is no cause for celebration: “While we have significantly reduced the number of road deaths, until there are no deaths on the region’s roads we cannot consider this battle won.”
Looking to the future, road safety lies in the hands of the general public, said the Civil Governor. “This is a problem that concerns everyone in society and everyone should come together to act responsibly and stop road deaths in the Algarve.”
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