The lack of visibility may have been a key factor in the accident with the car followed by Minister Eduardo Cabrita, on the A6, on June 18, fatally killing a worker who was maintaining the road.
The explanation is given to TSF by João Dias, professor at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) of the University of Lisbon, an expert with two decades of experience in the assessment of road accidents.
João Dias admits that there is a lot to clarify, but from what he has already analyzed in the aerial images of the area, the lack of visibility may have been fundamental.
“The area has the particularity of being a curve in which the worker, if on the left lane, has limited visibility to the vehicle; just as the vehicle driver, if traveling on the left lane, has limited visibility for the worker because the car is turning to the left. In addition, there are bushes in the central divider. In other words, visibility was limited”, explains the expert.
The IST professor says that the clarifications so far advanced by the Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI) do not explain much about the accident, nor do they clarify two key points: the speed at which the vehicle was going, knowing that more speed means less visibility and less driver reaction time; nor whether the car was going into emergency gear or not.
João Dias defends, in fact, that the legal text on the emergency march must be clarified, namely to specify well the cases in which it is possible for the governors – and not only – to go beyond the speed limits.
“The emergency march is not justified in all circumstances, particularly in the case of a Minister of Internal Administration who has responsibilities for coordinating and defining road safety policies. He has an obligation, even if it is a moral one, to comply with the Code of the Road in their journeys, unless there is an exceptional situation that justifies such an emergency march. In normal journeys, for me it is not justified”, concludes the expert in road accidents who argues that the law, as it stands, may have various interpretations.