Safe Christmas Seminar

Safe Christmas Seminar raises awareness of devastating impact of road deaths

The ‘Safe Christmas and New Year Seminar’ event held by Safe Communities Portugal (SCP) and Amigos do Museu do Traje São Brás de Alportel on November 17 was well attended with around 50 participants.

The seminar, focusing on road safety awareness and crime prevention, coincided with the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, being marked on November 19, in which the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, strongly appealed for operational and awareness work to be reinforced against a problem that has already caused 238 deaths in the first half of this year alone.

In attendance were Marlene de Sousa Guerreiro, São Brás de Alportel Deputy Mayor, Coronel Carlos Almeida, GNR Commander, Faro District Territorial Command, and Mike Evans and Jane Thomas from SCP, among others.

The ‘Safe Christmas and New Year Seminar’ event was introduced by Marlene de Sousa Guerreiro, David Thomas, president of Safe Communities Portugal, and Cliff Newton, president of Amigos do Museu do Traje São Brás de Alportel, where the event was held.

Said David Thomas: “We were privileged that Dr Raquel Viana, Head of Communication, Innovation and Special Projects, of the Autoridade Nacional de Segurança Rodoviária (ANSR) Headquarters in Lisbon, was able to attend, giving a very comprehensive presentation of the causes of road accidents, the campaigns being conducted by the ANSR and security forces, and the initiatives planned for the festive period starting December 13.”

Marking World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa recognised “the relevant role of awareness-raising and inspection campaigns planned within the scope of the National Inspection Plan” but called “strongly for operational work and collective awareness to be reinforced, because all lives count”.

David Thomas commented that the President’s message “clearly illustrates the importance of road safety and that everyone, both pedestrians and road users, have a role to play in reducing the number of deaths and injuries each year. Remember, this festive period the best gift is being present. And that depends on the commitment of all of us”.

Capitão Samuel Afonso of the GNR Faro District Territorial Command, also gave a comprehensive presentation on crime prevention and various crime initiatives being undertaken by the GNR.

Following the presentations, there was around 45 minutes of questions and answers covering subjects such as: use of CCTV cameras as part of household security systems, vehicle dash cams, street numbering/naming, safe residence program, calling police in emergencies, domestic violence, drug trafficking, crime trends in São Brás, road safety campaigns, accident black spots and using roundabouts by drivers.

Good feedback was received from those who attended, and plans are already in place for further events.