“Our interest in road safety issues should be self-evident. Greece is above the EU average in deaths and serious road accidents. This is exactly what we are trying to achieve with the National Action Plan for Improved Road Safety,” Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis shared on social media.
On Wednesday, he presented the plan which aims to rectify Greece’s poor statistical record of road accidents.
The €450 million program will be financed by the European Investment Bank, and seeks targeted improvements in 7,000 highly dangerous locations across the country.
“These are small changes that could, however, make the difference between life and death,” Mitsotakis said, noting that many accidents occur within cities and on the rural road network.
Στα ζητήματα ασφάλειας των δρόμων θέλω να σταθώ ιδιαίτερα στη σημασία που έχουν οι μεγάλοι αυτοκινητόδρομοι αλλά και την πρωτοβουλία που πήραμε με χρηματοδότηση της Ευρωπαϊκής Κεντρικής Τράπεζας, να κάνουμε 7.000 παρεμβάσεις σε σημεία με αυξημένη επικινδυνότητα. pic.twitter.com/8YjYaF8ZW1
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) February 3, 2021
Mitsotakis also referred to the importance of teaching the younger generation, with road safety now included in school curriculums.
“Children also affect the behaviour of adults,” he said, stressing the need for a change in the culture of driving, while also referring to necessary changes in the driving test system.
“Many accidents... are the result of individual choices, such as consumption of alcohol, excessive speed and the fact that we don’t wear a seatbelt or helmet. Above all, we must think that changing our behaviour on the road means respect for our fellow citizens and our family,” he added.
On his part, Greece's Infrastructure and Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis said the plan was comprehensive, well worked out and realistic, and able to achieve specific results based on safe roads, responsible drivers, education on road safety and fair rules for everyone.