New Year driving changes come into force

The National Authority for Road Safety (ANSR) has implemented a number of changes to Portugal's Highway Code, expresso.pt reports.

To improve road safety and bring the 'Código da Estrada' more in line with other European versions, over 60 amendments have been made to the Road Traffic Act.

Several of the rules will be of interest to non-Portuguese nationals, specifically the requirement for drivers to carry a tax identification card if they don't possess the new Portuguese ID document. This card tells authorities if the driver has any tax debts and failure to present it can result in a €30 fine.

Rules pertaining to child booster seats have also been changed. The height restriction has been dropped, meaning that children up to 135cm tall - not 150cm - require the security seats. Meanwhile use of headphones while driving - even when taking a hands-free call - have been banned.

More clarity has been given for driving on a roundabout, ANSR claims, stating via theportugalnews.com that: "it is now expressly prohibited to travel on the lane furthest to the right unless it is used to take the next immediate exit".

The changes also permit greater rights for cyclists and a drop in speed limit to 20 miles per hour in urban areas or those roads where cyclists and pedestrians 'co-exist'.

Posted on Monday, January 6, 2014

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