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Road fatalities down and arrests up this Easter

Major police operations carried out during the Easter period in Portugal registered one road fatality in a total of 641 accidents and 372 arrests, 111 more than last year.

The GNR road traffic police, through its Operação Páscoa (Easter Operation), aimed to ensure the safety of people travelling during the Easter period, from April 2 to April 8, when traffic increases on the roads due to the start of the holiday season.

The PSP’s Páscoa em Segurança 2012 (Safe Easter) operation brought focus to increasing police visibility in popular tourist and shopping areas, public transport hubs and towns holding major Easter celebrations.

The GNR recorded a total of 641 accidents during the operation, which resulted in one death, 15 serious injuries and 203 minor injuries.

When compared to the same period last year, there were 338 fewer accidents this year.

In Easter 2011, 10 people died on the roads while there were 34 serious injuries and 346 minor injuries.  

Lourenço da Silva from the GNR said that a decrease in traffic may have been due to the economic crisis and rising fuel prices, which contributed to the lower number of accidents recorded this Easter. “It was also clear that drivers were taking more care behind the wheel, with the majority complying with the road regulations,” he said.

Meanwhile, the PSP arrested 111 more people than in the same period in 2011, equalling a total of 372 detainees. The police force also fined 2,944 drivers and seized a total of 1,294 doses of narcotics and 17 illegal weapons.

The majority of arrests were made for driving under the influence of alcohol, poor driving, drug trafficking, theft, robbery and possession of illegal weapons.