Aging trucks take heavy toll

Traffic accidents involving trucks and buses cost the country 10 billion euros between 1996 to 2004, with large vehicles in Greece being considerably older than those found on other European highways, according to a study made public yesterday. The study, prepared by the National Technical University of Athens, found that 47 percent of the 10-billion-euro cost was caused by trucks aged between 16 and 20 years. The president of the Association of Motor Vehicle Importers Representatives (SEAA), Andreas Andrikopoulos, blamed the inadequacy of checks being conducted on trucks for the high accident costs. Long vehicles in Greece have an average age of 18 years versus a European average of 12.5. SEAA added that large trucks are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in a road accident than a car.