In Portugal ITS does not have a good image outside experts circles and people are generally very defensive about the real potential of ITS solutions. Still much work has to be done to progress towards the eSafety objectives.
In relation to eCall, the initial assessment of whether or not to sign up to eCall was made by the previous government. The new government in place the process was started again from scratch. By the end of 2007, Portugal will probably be in a position to give its view on whether or not to sign up to the eCall MoU.
112 is universally known in Portugal. PSAPs are public entities. They are regionalized with a central filtering system. At least 25% of the calls received by PSAPs are false calls, so there is a great need for filtering.
Portugal policy for road safety is investing more on enforcement, like stiffening of penalties in respect of: drink driving, excess speed, right lane overtaking, use of seatbelts, child-restraint systems and use of helmets for motorcyclists.
Portugal decided to foster the adoption of safety-enhancing in-vehicle technology, such as black boxes, and road-vehicle real-time communication systems.
Efforts are made to promote best available technology and to contribute to Portuguese entities participation in the international technology development effort.
Road Safety Vision, Plans, and Targets
To date, Portugal has no long-term, multi-annual road safety strategy or programme. Since 1997, road safety plans have been developed on an annual basis, covering one year only. In the road safety plan drawn up in 2000, the accident target was set to be below the EU average.
Road Safety Priorities
The 2001 plan identifies a number of priority areas and measures:
- Improved training and education
- Pedestrian safety
- Road safety research
- Speed behaviour
- Characteristics of Portuguese accident causes
- Economic and social costs of road accidents
- Driver behaviour
- Vehicle technology
- Improvements to the system of vehicle inspection
- Improvements concerning the investigation of accident witnesses
- Support for the renewal of the vehicle fleet (scrap schemes?)
- Testing road signs
- Identifying dangerous spots with respect to adverse weather conditions
- Creating guidelines for placement of road signs
- Creating teaching courses for civil and traffic engineers
- Testing of existing and installation of new emergency call boxes
- Enforcement, sanctions and medical care
- Enlarging the emergency vehicle fleet
- Creating training courses for emergency vehicle operators
- Improving the co-operation between emergency services and hospital emergency wards
Directorate General for Land Transport (Direcção Geral de Transportes Terrestres): http://www.dgtt.pt (Portuguese only)
Portuguese Road Administration (Estradas de Portugal, E.P.E.): http://www.estradasdeportugal.pt (Portuguese only)