Safety needs to come first

Dear Editor,

It is a hard slap in the face for all of us road users in Portugal: The almost empty A22, which is in perfect condition, gets long stretches of new tarmac for millions of Euros, while the promised works on the EN125 for four lanes and a division don’t proceed.

Our family has had SEVERAL near-death experiences on the EN125 from drivers overtaking in dangerous stretches (bends, hilltops) facing us head on and almost crashing into us. We are terrified of using this death trap – but we have to, daily.

Portuguese friends say that they pray every day when their daughter drives to work and they need her to phone after she arrives to make sure she did not have an accident. Of course the mistakes are made by PEOPLE who should be re-educated (by signs and regular radio-/television ads) about risks of tailgating, overtaking etc, as well as receiving steep fines for these deadly manoeuvres, recorded by cameras in dangerous areas (last month another overtaking suicidal driver was accidently followed by a police car and after we pointed to him with big fearful eyes, the police officers just shrugged their shoulders … because it’s a normal manoeuvre, I guess).

But the only way to reduce those frequent head-on collisions on EN roads as quickly as possible is hard shoulder divisions all the way through to prevent overtaking.

I was told that the planned works on the EN125 will start in Lagos and are planned to take at least three years. This will cost many people’s health as well as lives until then! At the same time, the A22, which is safe and in good condition, gets an expensive overhaul, because it is privately managed (but at the end paid by the taxpayers). This is a gross misuse of tax money. We don’t need a “nicer A22”; we need a safe EN125 right now!

Irene Manns

São Brás