NEWS

School bus threat due to Games

Olympic security measures have compromised the safety of thousands of Athens schoolchildren who are bused to their lessons every day, it emerged yesterday. On July 21, Athens prefecture officials decided to close down two key installations where vehicles are subjected to regular, obligatory roadworthiness tests, in order to address potential security threats to the August 13-29 Games. The two centers, at Hellenikon and Holargos, are both close to venues in use during the Games. The Hellenikon center was ordered closed until August 31, and the one at Hellenikon until October 1. As a result, it has been impossible for private school buses to undergo the mandatory tests ahead of the September 13 opening of the new school year. The problem only became apparent when traffic police started checking school buses’ certificates of roadworthiness, from September 13. Drivers could only present documents from the prefecture verifying that the testing centers were closed. Prefectural officials have now rescinded these papers, in a bid to step up the testing process.