The justice ministry’s aims to halve fatal and serious traffic accidents by 2030, Justice Minister Stephie Dracou said on Monday.
Speaking at a press conference to mark the first day of road safety week, the minister said this year’s theme aims to raise awareness of all road users to adhere to the highway code and cultivate proper and responsible road behaviour.
“The numbers of road accidents, but especially the victims…are of particular concern,” Dracou said, adding that it was “imperative” to find ways to deal with them.
Since the beginning of 2021, 33 fatal traffic accidents were recorded with 34 fatalities.
The justice ministry has promoted many projects and actions in collaboration with the police and other relevant bodies, Dracou said.
Road safety is also a key pillar of the state’s strategic planning for 2021-2030, which was recently approved by the road safety council and will be an “important tool”.
This includes the implementation of the new communication strategy on road safety, information campaigns and lectures and workshops at the traffic education park for army conscripts and children of all ages.
Moreover, special emphasis is given to young drivers and the training of drivers caught violating the traffic code. The coming driver training school will “help raise drivers’ awareness of the dangers posed by insufficient compliance with traffic rules”, the minister said.
Dracou pointed out that traffic fines have also recently been increased. These include fines for speeding, failure to wear a seatbelt or helmet, running a red light, drink driving and driving under the influence of drugs.
Moreover, eight traffic cameras – four fixed and four mobile – which will go into operation by the end of October for the pilot phase of a traffic camera system and the smart patrol vehicles offer the means for “more effective policing” Dracou said.
To prevent traffic violations, the ministry aims to increase police checks in the coming months and not just for road safety week, October 18 to 24.
“We need to be constantly vigilant. Additional measures are needed, measures that will target the causes that cause [accidents] as they are identified by studies and analysis of the statistical data collected by the competent police department,” the minister said.
The press conference of the traffic department took place in collaboration with CNP insurance, which supports the road safety week for the 22nd consecutive year.
In his statements, police chief Stelios Paptheodorou said officers will intensify checks focusing on “dark spots of the road network”.