NEWS

Poor motorcycle maintenance and inexperience cause accidents

Often the first thing summer visitors, particularly younger ones, do on arriving on the islands is rent a motorcycle. Only rarely are they asked to produce a license and even more rarely do the rental companies issue them with helmets. As a result, motorcycle accidents account for an increasing number of accidents among both Greek and foreign holiday-makers. According to EKAB’s accident prevention unit, a large number of motorcycles rented at summer resorts are poorly maintained. What is even more dangerous is that tourists often do not know how to ride them properly and are unaware of the poor conditions of Greece’s roads. One often sees an entire family complete with beach gear on a 50cc motorbike, a violation of the law that is rarely punished. The problem is exacerbated when alcohol is involved. Apart from more media coverage and breathalyzer tests on the roads, EKAB officials say there should be more raids on discotheques and nightclubs to clamp down on the sale of alcohol to those under 18 years of age. Weekend traffic is particularly dangerous as drivers are in a hurry to get out of town Often they have been drinking alcohol, and you can frequently see them driving cars that are overloaded, with neither them nor their passengers wearing their seat belts. Pedestrians are also at risk as they are seen as second-class citizens on the roads; cars are often parked on sidewalks, which are often used as a fast lane for motorcycles. In coastal areas there are sometimes no sidewalks at all. EKAB warns everyone using the roads to be particularly careful when driving or walking into direct sunlight. Very dark sunglasses are not considered a good idea when driving, and generally sunglasses should not be worn unless necessary and must always be removed when entering a tunnel. Finally, it should be remembered that heat and exhaustion, particularly after swimming, slow one’s reflexes.