Safe Communities Portugal, an association focusing on crime prevention and public information concerning security and safety, met with the Secretary of State for Internal Administration on January 2 to discuss matters concerning civil protection and road safety.
Patrícia Gaspar assumed the post of Secretary of State for Internal Administration under the new government recently, being responsible for both civil protection and road safety. Previously, the post was Secretary of State for Civil Protection, but this was changed to reflect a broader portfolio with the inclusion of road safety.
Discussions held between the Secretary of State and David Thomas, President of Safe Communities Portugal, included public communication during crisis situations such as rural fires; location finding by the emergency services during crisis situations; priorities outlined for civil protection and Safe Communities Portugal; prevention and self-protection during rural fires, and measures for AL holiday rental accommodation under the “Safe Village-Safe People” programme.
These were matters that had been accorded priority, with fast tracking where necessary before the main fire season. A strategic approach to communications was discussed.
Also discussed was the role of civil protection volunteer organisations, of which Safe Communities was one of nine, as well as future collaboration and related issues.
In respect of road safety, Patrícia Gaspar explained the priority that needs to be given to the main causes of serious road accidents and that the laws concerning issues such as drink-driving and use of mobile phones whilst driving were currently under review.
In this context, Safe Communities raised the issue of “tailgating” especially that on motorways and that more awareness of the dangers was needed.
In the framework of the above, a number of ideas were discussed for further consideration.