Death toll in federal highways in RN
On July 15th, newspaper Tribuna do Norte published a report about the number of people who died in transit accidents in the federal highways of Rio Grande do Norte.
The numbers don't cause any commotion among Brazilians (who are accostumed to hear such news), but they may shock visitors from other countries.
According to the Federal Highway Police (which must be called whenever there is an accident in federal highways), in the first semester of 2007 alone, 103 people died on federal highways; the number is up from 69 in the same period of last year; the number doesn't include the cases which happened in State roads, and doesn't include the cases where the victims die later on, because of the accidents.
The main cause of accidents is misbehaving of drivers. Disrespect to signalization (overspeeding, prohibited overtaking) and driving under influence of alcohol are very common.
The BR-101 (which leads to João Pessoa and Recife, in the south, and Touros, in the north) has the highest number of accidents, but the highest number of fatalities occurs at the BR-304 (which leads to Mossoró and then to Fortaleza).