A highway with traffic

The annual calendar of actions of the National Road Safety Authority is set. For the first time, motorcyclists will be targeted in a separate campaign. Speed, alcohol, mobile phone use, seat belts and other safety devices are other topics to address.

The road safety and prevention campaign “travel without haste”starts today. This is one of five thematic campaigns, which will be repeated throughout the year, with teams from the National Road Safety Authority (ANSR) on the road. “There will be two elements of the ANSR tomorrow, in Sesimbra, with the GNR. The GNR does the inspection and then we will talk a little with the driver. We give information on the theme of the campaign, we show a short video – in case tomorrow it will be about speed-and we leave a flyer for the driver to take, with additional information”, explains Raquel Viana, from ANSR.

The first campaign of the year will take place between today and the 22nd. Every day, at a certain point in mainland Portugal, there will be an ANSR team doing this work. “There are other elements that join us but most of the people who will be with the drivers belong to the communication department. There will be one action per day.”

This is the first of twelve campaigns that will have five themes. In February, the “zero tax at the wheel” campaign will be launched, which focuses on driving under the influence of alcohol. In March the ANSR starts with a campaign dedicated to driving two-wheeled vehicles “that still has no name”, assumes Raquel Viana. A campaign that had never happened before. “There was no campaign dedicated exclusively to motorcyclists and the incidence of accidents is high, although the number of fatalities has not been increasing. But it is a target audience for which we have all the consideration and it made perfect sense to have a campaign dedicated to them”, justifies Raquel Viana.

The use of seat belts, car seats and child seats will be the motto of the “Belt Me Alive” campaign, which will hit the roads in April. “It may seem strange but it is written anyway, with ‘C’, because it is a graphic image, although orthographically it is not correct. We want to draw attention to the use of safety devices, such as seat belts, which must also be used in the back seats and also within the localities, which is something that people often still forget. Plus, of course, the children’s car seats.”

May is the month to warn drivers of the dangers of using their mobile phone while driving, with the campaign”behind the wheel the mobile phone can wait”. Then, over the remaining months, these campaigns are repeated, following a strategy.

Raquel Viana explains: “For example, the campaign dedicated to motorcycles is repeated in July because it is summer and there is a greater circulation of this type of vehicle. Then, in September, for example, we repeated the “Cinto-me Vivo”, precisely because this month coincides with the return to school and we want to sensitize drivers to the use of approved car seats and other safety devices.

Towards the end of the year we have, in November, the “zero tax at the wheel”, on driving under the influence of alcohol, and in December we return to the “travel without haste” campaign, related to speed”, reveals Raquel Viana. “We approach alcohol and speed later in the year because there are more trips at that time.

There is the proximity of the December holidays but also the Christmas and New Year season. At this time of year there is an increase in awareness campaigns and surveillance. It makes sense to have these two campaigns, in November and December, that touch on the themes of alcohol and speeding, because they are the biggest motivators of road accidents”.

Raquel Viana ensures that drivers receive well the presence of the elements of the ANSR, in these prevention and awareness actions, on the roads. “The drivers adhere well to our presence and usually even thank us. The vast majority are in a bit of a hurry but we try not to take too much time away from them. We try to get the key message across right from the start and then they take the flyer with complementary information. Most people are happy to see us there.”

As for the strategy of the periodicity of the campaigns, this person in charge of the ANSR assures that motorists are receptive all year round. “My perspective, from the experience we have had, is that people always adhere to prevention and awareness actions. We are the ones who, according to the time of year, are trying to adapt the campaigns. Those who receive us on the streets are happy because they think it is essential to be present and give information so that they are more careful”.

ANSR has ambitious targets in terms of road accidents. “Our goal is always to try to reduce this loss as much as possible. What we have, now, is a new road safety policy, which is the “Vision Zero 2030” and which translates into reducing up to 50% of accidents on the roads by 2030”, observes Raquel Viana.

Finally, this head of the ANSR insists that “driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding are still the main causes of accidents and with serious consequences. It’s good that everyone thinks about it.”

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