Death toll in Brazilian road accidents up 13% during Carnival

15:52, February 19, 2010      

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The death toll of motor vehicle accidents in Brazil's highways during the Carnival holiday was up 13 percent compared with the same period last year, the country's Federal Highway Police (PRF) said on Thursday.

According to the PRF, 143 people died in accidents within six days during the Carnival holidays, up 13 percent from 127 deaths in 2009 Carnival.

The number of accidents totaled 3,233, also up 13 percent from the 2,865 accidents in the same period a year earlier, and 1,912 people were injured in the accidents, a seven-percent increase from last year.

Southeastern Minas Gerais state reported the highest casualties, with 493 accidents, 26 deaths and 378 injured. The state has the largest highway network in Brazil.

To reduce road accidents during the holidays, the PRF increased patrols in federal highways nationwide. It also made available some 2,000 breathalyzers and 400 speed radars to crack down on drunk driving and speeding.

The PRF said that 119,614 tickets were given for traffic violations during the holiday, with 53 percent for speeding. A total of 46,226 breathalyzer tests were conducted, with 593 drivers arrested for drunk driving.

Source: Xinhua
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