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Letter to the Editor

While Rio could really use better road signage, the assertion that the death of Rafael Mascarenhas was due to poor signage is unjustified. The report in Veja leaves little doubt that the drivers of the cars in the tunnel were using the tunnel closure to try drag-style racing (racha), while the teens, including Rafael, were using it for skate boarding. The police that apprehended the driver of the battered car coming out of the tunnel let him go after receiving a R$10,000 bribe. It isn’t clear that there was any drinking involved and it appears clear that the drivers and skateboarders knew the tunnel was closed. There is a more interesting story here than a general reference to “dangerous roads, insufficient or erroneous signs, speed and driving under the influence of alcohol”.

Mateen Thobani

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