New wave of drivers is sought

As part of an effort to reduce the thousands of deaths that occur on Greek roads each year, the government yesterday announced measures, including driver education classes from primary school onward, to produce a generation of safer drivers. After a meeting between Transport Minister Michalis Liapis and Education Minister Marietta Giannakou, it was announced that Greek schoolchildren in the prefectures of Attica, Thessaloniki, Achaia and Iraklion in Crete would begin compulsory driver education lessons next year. The classes will extend to the rest of the country at the beginning of the school year in 2006. From next year, primary schools will also begin trips to special driver training centers, which are currently defunct. During their last two years, high school students will be given lessons on the theory of driving cars and riding motorcycles. School buses will also be made safer. Buses that are over 20 years old will be withdrawn from circulation, and only those less than 15 years old and have individual seatbelts will be used for excursions.