Bidding to boost road safety, the government plans to introduce changes to the highway code and impose stiffer penalties for certain violations.
Among the changes under consideration is to make it mandatory for drivers to use snow tires instead of snow chains during the months of the year when the weather deteriorates.
According to Transport Minster Kostas A. Karamanlis, Greece is “the only country in the European Union which still uses snow chains.”
“When we are on a highway and need snow chains we have to stop and fit them and then take them off again,” he said, adding that this only contributes to traffic jams during snowy weather – like the tailbacks in late December on the Athens-Lamia national highway some 30 kilometers north of the capital just before the Malakasa junction.
Meanwhile, legislation is expected to be drawn up soon with a view to establishing a framework to identify the causes – and attribute liability – in cases of serious disruption on the country’s national road network.
Karamanlis said on Friday that new legislation will ensure that when “the traffic police say the road is closed, the road is closed, and when they say you can’t go on that highway without all the necessary equipment your vehicle needs, and you do, there will be a huge fine.”