Cab drivers will have to belt up

Taxi drivers and their front-seat passengers will have to wear seat belts under the new highway code being prepared by the government, Transport Minister Michalis Liapis said yesterday. Drivers of taxis, trucks and intercity KTEL buses are currently exempt from the seat-belt law. But Liapis said that when the new road safety code comes into force soon, all drivers who are not buckled in would face a fine of some 166 euros – double the current penalty. The minister added that front-seat passengers in cabs would also be fined if not wearing seat belts. The head of the Greek Association of Taxi Owners’ Unions, Efthymios Lymberopoulos, said it was dangerous for passengers not to wear seat belts since most taxis were now fitted with airbags. The fine for entering a bus lane is also set to double to 166 euros but the government wants to really clamp down on drivers who park in front of ramps for disabled people and those who ignore warnings at level crossings by revoking their licenses.