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Six road deaths in 18 hours as GNR launches “Operation Welcome”

Within hours of August 1 – the start of Portugal’s traditional holiday month – six people had lost their lives on the country’s roads and by-ways.
As funerals went ahead or were being planned, the GNR launched its “Operation Welcome” – designed to “reinforce the concept of a safe country”.
TVI 24 reports that police will be out in force over the weekend, “with the intention of intensifying traffic patrols and giving information on principal causes of accidents and the need for drivers to take rest breaks during their journeys”.
The website adds that the operation, involving 122 officers, will concentrate on the frontiers of Valença, Vila Verde de Raia, Quintanilha, Vilar Formoso, Caia and Castro Marim.
Other than handing out leaflets, officers will be watching out for drink-drivers, speeding, the correct use of seatbelts and child car seats, as well as the condition of drivers’ tyres.
In other words, “Operation Welcome” could quite easily translate into “Operation, You’re Fined”.
Meantime, of the victims as August dawned: two were elderly agricultural workers – both killed when their tractors turned over. Another was an 85-year-old man crossing the road at Sete Rios, Lisbon, during lunchtime traffic. The fourth was involved in an accident with a goods vehicle in Marvão, while the fifth – a Portuguese living in Switzerland – died as he travelled to his hometown in Portugal, presumably for his summer holiday.
Hours before these deaths, former GNR agent Adérito Xardo, 57, lost control of his car on the IC5 near Vila Real and died in a “brutal accident” with a truck.
This last accident is still being investigated.