Road deaths despite checks

Four people died in road accidents in the early hours of New Year’s Day, despite stricter police checks, bringing the death toll on Greek roads over the festive period to more than 30. The heaviest toll yesterday was caused when a taxi hit a car on a country road outside Thessaloniki. Two men in the car, aged 22 and 31, were killed while the two drivers and a passenger in the taxi sustained minor injuries. In another accident near Trikala, central Greece, a 38-year-old man was killed when his car veered off course and struck an electricity pylon. The fourth road death was that of an 18-year-old man whose motorcycle skidded and crashed outside Tripolis, in the Peloponnese. Police stopped 1,740 motorists for checks on New Year’s Day, charging 25 with drunk driving and another 872 with speeding and other offenses. Police recorded a total of 1,449 road deaths last year, slightly down from 1,493 in 2006.