Sanctions in pipeline for traffic disruptions

Sanctions in pipeline for traffic disruptions

In the wake of last week’s public uproar over the traffic disruption caused by the shutdown of a section of the Athens-Lamia national highway due to heavy snowfall, the Infrastructure Ministry is currently drafting legislation which seeks to ensure that the process of sanctioning those accountable for failing to adequately perform their duties is expedited.

“The legislation which is being drafted aims to establish a framework for identifying the causes and to attribute any responsibility to the competent authorities and bodies implicated in cases of serious disruption/interruption (partial or total) of traffic flow on the country’s national road network,” General Secretary of Public Works Giorgos Karayiannis told Kathimerini.

However, the scope for the state’s intervention is limited with respect to private companies – such as Nea Odos, which is responsible for the Athens-Lamia highway – as their responsibilities are strictly defined in statutory contracts.

The Infrastructure Ministry’s committee of experts with experience in concession contracts met for the first time yesterday and is expected to deliver its proposals next Wednesday or Thursday.

What is clear is that the state cannot make legislative interventions in matters regarding responsibilities of each side that have been defined in concession contracts.

In its statement last week referring to the closure of a section of the Athens-Lamia highway, Nea Odos said that traffic flow on highways is regulated by traffic police.

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