Strict traffic code fails to tame unruly drivers

The new highway code, which introduced stiffer penalties for dangerous drivers, appears to have done little to encourage better road behavior in the 10 days it has been in effect. According to figures released yesterday, 37,577 offenses have been recorded during the last 10 days. Some 5,800 drivers lost their licenses. The most common offense (8,763 tickets issued) was speeding, while 2,600 drivers were stopped for not wearing seat belts. Since the stricter penalties were introduced on June 3, 37 people have died in road accidents. Meanwhile, Thessaloniki prefect Panayiotis Psomiadis turned up at the Transport Ministry yesterday to pay a fine for not wearing a motorcycle helmet. Psomiadis apologized for the offense but was non-committal about whether he would wear a helmet in the future.

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