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Road safety should become every mayor’s priority

Civil Governor of Faro Isilda Gomes stressed last week that Câmara presidents need to have a more active role in the prevention of road accidents within cities and towns, where there have been an increasing number of road deaths.

In a seminar about the preparation of the new Municipal Plans for Road Safety (PMSR) on April 7, promoted by the National Authority for Road Safety (ANRS), Isilda Gomes said that “the safety of residents should be high on the list of priorities of the region’s mayors”. She added: “In the last years, the main concern of mayors has been to improve traffic flow and increase parking areas, but road safety needs to become a priority for local authorities if we are to effectively reduce the number of road accidents in cities and towns.”

The civil governor believes that the first step is to provide mayors with statistics on road accidents, so they can assess recent cases, identify the causes and implement measures to increase safety in their councils.

“Road safety has been, and is, top of our list of priorities,” said Isilda Gomes, highlighting the “excellent work” that has been developed by the ANRS, through permanent monitoring of accidents in the region in collaboration with the local authorities.

The civil governor also believes that the PMSR are a “tool that needs to be implemented by all councils in the Algarve in order to intensify the fight against accidents in the region, where only high security can ensure a sustainable tourism industry.”

According to the ANSR president, Paulo Marques, this can only be achieved with the “full collaboration of local councils. In 2008, 47 per cent of fatalities resulting from road accidents occurred within towns.”

The ANSR aims to decrease the number of road deaths by 2015 to 62 per one million inhabitants, which represents 1,350 less lives lost until the end of that period.

Paulo Silvestre