´EIGHT PEOPLE died after being involved in collisions with cars over the first three days of Operation Carnival in Portugal this year, despite an overall reduction in the number of road accidents compared with 2006.
During the operation headed by the police from last Friday until Sunday, a total of 848 accidents occurred, 67 less than during last year.
With the heavy increase in traffic on Portuguese roads throughout the weekend due to the carnival period police stepped up their patrols, but it appears that this did little to reduce the incidence of fatalities.
The eight deaths were an increase on the same period last year, with the police initiative recording a total of seven fatalities in 2006. This year, 30 people were seriously injured in collisions, which was three more than in 2006 and 243 people sustained minor injuries, eight more than last year.
During the first few days of increased police patrols, 1,206 motorists were fined for speeding and 174 were charged with being under the influence of alcohol. Of the 174 people who failed the breathalyser, 60 were arrested because the tests revealed that they had equal to or more than 1.2g of alcohol per litre of blood in their system.
Operation Carnival was due to end at midnight on Tuesday, after The Resident went to press.
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