Source : Diário de Notícias 10/1/2008
In an article yesterday, the standard of driving on Madeira is critised, especially in terms of speeding, doing manouvers without signalling, driving on the wrong side of the road, and even when parking.
However, measures were announced yesterday by the Government of Portugal, which advocate that the maximum speed limit should be reduced to 30 kilometres per hour in urban centers, residential zones, and in places with heavy pedestrian traffic. These speed limits currently stand at either 40km or 50km per hour. These measures are to be supplemented with ‘road ramps’ and more traffic signalling, and new points allocations for driving offences, that will accumulate until the confiscation of driving licences.
Of the 160,000 cars on Madeira, apparently 60% are in or enter Funchal daily. In spite of everything, Madeira was the region in the country that achieved the best recent accident reduction figures, and a death rate halved from 22 to 11.
It all sounds good and sensible to me, but if drivers are to try and achieve speeds of 30 km per hour in downtown Funchal, then some of those 160,000 cars will have to stay at home.
Any one up for wicker basket rides next week, from Monte down to Livramento? Well I wouldn’t bother, as from 14th to 21st January, there are sewerage works in the road, so no rides. Can a Câmara (council) complete a job in one week … I don’t think so!
The VAT (IVA) rate for gymnasium use has been reduced to 5%, I guess in order to encourage exercise and better health … hurrah! But before you set off to fulfil your new years resolution, encouraged by the VAT savings you will make, you ought to know that the gyms are still charging the same and pocketing the VAT savings themselves … booh!
A huge amount of interest in the Portuguese TV and newspapers about the American presidency candidate selection, though I am not sure whether the people are all that fussed. Come on Hillary … you already have my imaginary vote.