Wet week led to record deaths

Last week was a grim one on Portuguese roads. A total of 38 people died between August 9 and August 15, making it the worst week for fatalities so far this year.

The most serious accident occurred in Montargil, leading to seven deaths and one injury. This accident contributed considerably to the death toll, which averaged out at 3.5 deaths per day. During the same week, the BT/GNR and PSP police divisions recorded a total of 3,789 accidents.

The President of the Portuguese Road Accident Prevention Association, José Miguel Trigoso, said the figures should cause widespread concern. “I think that the rain that fell last week might have contributed to the increase in deaths. But excessive speed continues to be the overwhelming cause of road accidents.”

Hundreds patrol Portugal

THE BRIGADA de Trânsito (BT) division of the GNR is gearing up to cope with the increase of traffic on the country’s roads, which are expected to be busy until the end of August. In an attempt to prevent more road accidents occurring this summer, an estimated 900 BT officers will be patrolling the national roads, with the help of two helicopters, which will concentrate on the motorways. “The officers will be spread throughout the country, although we are going to have more in the Algarve and along the coast,” a BT spokesperson revealed.