Crackdown saves lives on roads

The number of accidents on Greece’s roads dropped by 14.4 percent last year compared to 2000, exceeding the government’s target of 5 percent, Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said yesterday. Presenting the results of the program «On the road 2001-2005,» Chrysochoidis said that between 2000 and 2001 the number of fatal accidents fell by 8.3 percent, the number of deaths by 9.1 percent, and injuries by 23 percent. He said the main reason for the reduction was a more intensive crackdown on traffic violations. Last year, police stopped 56 percent more drivers for failing to wear seat belts than in the previous year and 87 percent more motorcycle riders for not wearing helmets. They also carried out nearly double the number of breathalyzer tests on drivers. The reduction in accidents contrasted with the increase in the number of motorized vehicles on the country’s roads, from 4,138,879 in 2000 to 7,034,017 last year, in a population of 10,939,605.

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