Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced tax incentives for the purchase of motorcycle helmet. ” I will not allow deaths due to the non-use of helmets,” Mitsotakis said during a visit to the Transportation Ministry.
Tax incentives will be announced by the end of September to make the purchase of helmets more affordable and reduce deaths, he said.
“I will not accept any deviation from the mandatory use of helmets for motorcyclists. As we implement the anti-smoking law, we will also make it absolutely clear that helmets are mandatory,” he added.”
He did not elaborate on what tax incentives will be, but some media suggest a reduced Value Added Tax. A couple of hours later, it was announced that the V.A.T. on helmets will be reduced from 24% currently to 13%. The reduction will pass through the Parliament with the next taxation law.
“Road safety issues are an absolute political priority for new governance. It is unthinkable to mourn so many people on the asphalt and we are committed to a long-term plan to tackle the problem with a series of interventions on the way like the training of young drivers, the quality of our roads, the very strict implementation of the Traffic Penal Code, he stressed.
In addition to reducing road accidents, the prime minister described also a top priority for the government the improvement of urban transport. He said commuters will see another, much better picture with more schedules on the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki.
Visiting the Transportation Ministry he was apparently surprised to learn that many tram, metro and bus schedules are cut – as always in the summer months of July and August.
The Transport Minister blamed the lack of spear parts, while everybody knows that July and August are the holy holiday cows for the unionists in public transport no matter what.
But it’s a new government with ministers, incl the PM, to have never used public transport means.
Otherwise the would have known of the good old summer traditions or that schedules especially for buses have been decreased down to two per hour where the official schedule on bus stops announces four. The cuts have been implemented since the 2. bailout in 2012 and worsened with the time when no new staff hiring took place but drivers kept on retiring.
PS the problem is not to purchase a helmet but to wear it while on a motorcycle…. If the control mechanism of traffic police fines each an every motorcyclist incl passenger for the absence of helmet, constantly for one year, Greeks may change their habits.
Agree totally with the PS above.
Another issue, however, is in getting the police to do their job and regularly stop those with no helmets, rather than just doing this when they have their monthly purge on drivers. I regularly see helmet-less drivers pass police here in Kalamata. The police are usually standing around, chatting and drinking coffee, rather than enforcing the law. Then one day per month they manage to stop hundreds of drivers and prosecute or fine them for anything they can (inc. stealing electricity, not something they are doing at that particular moment).
Same applies for non-wearing of seat belts, use of mobile phones while driving, carrying children unprotected on cars and motorcycles etc. And the number of cyclists endangering pedestrians by cycling on the pavement, at speed, at night, totally ignoring the sign that says ‘No Cycling after 8pm’ is criminal.
A crazy way of working, like so many things here.