NEWS

Stricter penalties urged for traffic offenders

A man who seriously injured a mother and her 7-year-old twins on their way to school in a hit-and-run in 2012, received a suspended sentence of six years and seven months from an Athens court this week. But the verdict has drawn the ire of a group that believes offenders are getting off the hook with relatively light sentences.

The accused, driving a motorcycle, ran a red light at high speed and crashed into the family before fleeing the scene.

The man, who didn’t even have a driving license, was later arrested at his home. One of the children has suffered 90 percent paralysis.

Critics say the ruling at the trial, which took four years due to six postponements, was far too lenient and that it didn’t even factor in that he was driving without a license.

“In Greece, those responsible for traffic accidents get off lightly,” said Manolis Stavroulakis, a founding member of the SOS Traffic Crimes group. “When you run a red light and hit someone it is considered a misdemeanor.”

The group has met with the justice minister and the president of the Supreme Court to demand the introduction of stricter penalties.

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