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Driving Fines In Greece


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#1 santo

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 10:25 AM

Just read an article regarding Greece's new focus on traffic offences and noted the cost of future fines to offenders, have we got any experience that it's happening in Crete !!!!!

•Driving while talking on a cell phone: 100 Euros
•Driving a motorcycle while talking on a cell phone: 150 Euros
•Running a red light: 700 Euros (no, that's not an extra zero).
•Failure to wear a seatbelt: 350 Euros per person

I have to add that if this is the case then I'm certainly not against it as long as it applies to locals as well.
:) :lol: B)
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#2 Assim

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 10:43 AM

The laws have always been there, just they upped the fines. Im not sure if it means the police will actually start doing what they are paid for though.

My wife did get stopped yesterday in Athens, saying that, so maybe theres a little drive going on at the moment (pun intended). The government certainly need the money for the 'brown envelopes' :D
B) :D :) :D :lol:

I don't know how they will enforce the red light one. You know theres no such thing as a red light in Greece, just deep orange ones :)
And how come motorcyclists pay more than car drivers for talking on the phone?



Sorry for being flippant, i've lived here too long and seen all the good intentions not happen all to often.

#3 santo

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 12:34 PM

No problem with you being flippant Assim, I've been known to be also.......... :D :D

been looking on a website where you can "broadcast yourself" !!!!!! and there do seem to be a lot of accidents concerning motorcycles in greece maybe that's why the increase in fine (more liable to injure themselves and impact on the medical services) :lol: B) :D :) :)
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#4 Tim

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 02:34 PM

I guess we will be able to determine whether this is an income generating measure, or safety drive, by whether or not the police themselves comply with the helmet /seat belt rules ;-)

#5 Wally

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 12:39 AM

Last year, near Malia, my brother get a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt :unsure:

Re motorcyclists paying more – probably somebody considered it as more dangerous.
Also they can not wear helmet while they are talking on the phone :unsure:

I’ve been told that Cretan Police started paying closer attention to motorcyclists not wearing helmets, as it is required by the law for a long time.

#6 SuzyCreamcheese

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 11:24 PM

This is very interesting :unsure: Local people on Crete don't seem to mind any traffic rule. Except in the capital perhaps. Traffic seems more like a battle of the fittest and never saw any 'astinomia' ticketting :unsure: Wonder what they are going to do with the taxi drivers; talking on the cell phone in the car at a (too) high speed seems to be a hobby of theirs.

Don't want to be rude but then again, I must admit, traffic in Greece is a very extraordinary fenomenon to me. :unsure: Comparable to the Italian way of driving though.
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#7 Wally

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 01:29 AM

I always admire Cretan coach drivers, especially driving so fast on narrow, zigzag mountrain roads :unsure:

Always have one wish – not ‘to face’ them passing next corner :unsure:

#8 yannis_s

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 11:03 AM

Suzy,
there are frequent road blocks by the police in Heraklion and on the highway. Common spots are the exit to Gouves, the road from Panormos to Rethymnon and the road close to Vrisses and Georgioupolis.
With the new fines, I am sure most people will be VERY careful from now on. I don't agree with such outrageous fines though.
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#9 Henry Hooray

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 11:21 AM

I certainly don't like fines and so on either. But as somebody driving in a foreign country I feel the obligation on me to 'behave' is somewhat greater then either at home, or for that matter for the local drivers.

I mean, we have all seen Greek drivers hurtling around corners, even in villages. May I suggest that we don't emulate them! But of course, they may know the area, they may pass that house on the corner twenty times each day, they may know that's it's stood empty for a long time; I as a tourist cannot know that, so I shall have to assume that a child will come running after a ball everywhere at at any time, day or night.

Simple, really. And as we say (excuse the spelling): siga, siga!

Henry.

#10 Dinny

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 04:35 PM

But there don't seem to be any increase in fines for speeding? :unsure:

Actually, after living many years in Italy I like the Greek way of driving, it's SO Italian!! :unsure: And as Henry says, when you know a road in and out, the exact location of the holes that will swallow you and keep you in forever, the empty houses and whatever... it's literally impossible to drive a 50 km/h (which is mine and not Henry's conclusion). I like to make a quick trip to Mires for shopping and lucky enough police seem to be totally absent in the South, even when they are there they don't see anything they are not supposed to see: just check-out the parking situation in a town like Mires, where police cars are present all the time...



The only time I am REALLY careful and drive extremely slowly is when I return from Matala on a late Saturday evening... I know for sure that whoever is driving towards me is totally drunk and is just trying to convince his car to know the way by heart so that he does not have to participate in the driving himself! :unsure:

#11 Wally

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 06:41 PM

Dinny,

Sounds a bit scary…

I did my homework and have read Yannis’s article on Driving in Crete, including the tip to pay extra attention on Saturday night.

It reminds me when we were in Santorini for the first time and the resident told us about driving. He mentioned there were two policemen on the island but nobody saw them. They said, both of them were in the church all the time praying for nothing to happen to drunk driving tourists :unsure:

#12 willtam

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 09:31 PM

how about speeding just got bk from corfu iv never felt so scared in a taxi in my life he was drivin fast both sides of road,over takin on blind corners!!i swear at 1 point we would all die goin of the end of a cliff!!

#13 Wim

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 11:14 PM

where have you brits been for the last couple of hundred years as far as i know the brits on their island know some about wild driving as well they even use the wrong side of the road or were you not aware that the greeks and the rest of europe use the right part.

nice lingo eh :wacko:
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#14 emily

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 12:58 PM

I was in a taxi in Crete this summer when the driver brought up the subject of us brits driving on the wrong side of the road. He decided to highlight his point by driving on the left and thus nearly crashing into a wishing well in the village of koutouloufari! Point taken but perhaps just a verbal demonstration would have sufficed :wacko:

#15 Retired in Crete

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 07:46 PM

Perhaps this will help you all:

The Greek Highway Code

1. RULE OF THE ROAD. The unwritten rule of the road in Crete is to drive in the centre (except when approaching a bend - see below). In the unlikely event of an encounter with someone from the opposite direction, adopt an engaging expression of absolute open-mouthed amazement and urgently pull the vehicle to the right. It is customary to nod in greeting as you pass the other vehicle as this relaxes the neck tendons.

2. CAR CONTROLS:
• STEERING. A minimalist approach is the norm. A local will usually have a mobile phone clamped to his left ear and will be steering with the first and second fingers of his right hand which will also be gripping a cigarette.
• CLUTCH / GEARS. For the reasons cited above, hands are generally unavailable for gear changes so clutch and gears are only used when absolutely necessary. You will often see vehicles drift to a halt on an incline because a telephone call has taken precedence over the driving.
• ACCELERATOR. Because of a tendency to be in the wrong gear acceleration often has less relevance than might be expected.
• MIRROR. What mirror?
• SIGNALS. There are only two signaling devices used in Crete. The horn for attracting the attention of ones friends and the hazard lights which allow uninhibited parking anywhere. The palm of the hand pushed sharply towards you is not, strictly speaking, a road signal.
• LIGHTS. Lights are non-essential except for seeing ahead in the dark. One headlight is sufficient for this purpose.
• BRAKES. Optional.
• INDICATORS. Redundant.
• SEAT BELTS. The law states that seat belts must be used at all times. This ambiguous regulation is variously interpreted.

3. MOVING OFF INTO TRAFFIC. When ready move off hugging the right edge of the road. No account of other road users is taken into consideration. Gather pace until normal driving speed and road position is attained. It is not that that Cretan drivers intend to be inconsiderate to other road users, they are merely unaware of them unless they happen to be someone they recognise.

4. STOPPING. Simply stop. No signal is given; it is even optional whether to pull to the side of the road.

5. NEGOTIATING A BEND. Remember local drivers don’t like changing gear and wish to minimise the exertions of steering, so the method adopted is to maintain as straight a line as possible. At a right-hand bend, for example, the car is positioned on the extreme left of the road entering the bend, on the right side at the sharpest point and back on the left side exiting. This is, of course, an identical path adopted by anyone traveling in the opposite direction and is the Cretan way of making friends.

6. PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS. In Crete this term is a misnomer as these marked areas are ignored by pedestrians and motorist alike. They do however make ideal parking places as they tend to become occupied last.

7. JUNCTION PRIORITY. Especially in towns visitors are often confused as to when to give way and locals are no less unsure. The rule adopted is, when in doubt, proceed.

8. TRAFFIC LIGHTS. A really fun game has been developed which anyone can play. The objective is to blow the horn at the person at the front of the queue when the traffic light turns green and before they have a chance to move off. If you are the person at the front it is unlikely you will escape being blasted as the locals have refined this game into an art form.

9. OVERTAKING. It will not take long for you to begin to question whether double white lines down the centre of the road mean the same as in the rest of Europe. The answer is that, in theory, they do. Other than that, any further advice on overtaking like a local will fail to prepare the visitor for the reality of the creativity employed in the execution of this manoeuvre. It is hard to reconcile the laid-back, happy-go-lucky guy you meet in every bar or taverna with the maniac with the fixed toothy grin and wide eyes who happily overtakes you at your speed + 2 kph, going into a blind bend and across a double white line. Just remember that Greek Orthodox is a very powerful religion.

10. POTHOLES. As elsewhere potholes lurk to catch the unwary. Be aware that the experienced Cretan driver knows that it is cheaper and easier to repair a wing (or simply dispense with it) than a wheel or axle. He will describe an extravagant course around a problem, rating the pothole considerably more potentially dangerous than other traffic (possibly the result of potholes outnumbering road users).

11. SIGN POSTS. For shooting practice only. They are otherwise ignored.

12. ONE-WAY STREETS. Usually these will be encountered in busy towns where their use, counter to the indicated direction, can save valuable time avoiding jams.

13. PARKING. Remember the magic hazard warning lights. The tradition is that they are not used until the vehicle has come to a halt. Double (and treble) parking is commonplace to the extent that kerb-side parking spaces are often ignored for fear of getting blocked in by a double-parked vehicle. Parking on a corner or road junction offers options for getting mobile again and is favored by the experienced.

15. NO PARKING SIGNS. Metal signs placed in the road are a real hazard as they force the motorist to park alongside them with their vehicles projecting into the traffic flow.

16. STOPPING TO TALK. The friendly locals always scrutinise on-coming drivers and if they spot a friend will readily halt alongside (or back-up if necessary) and engage in conversation. If a driver meets a pedestrian he wishes to speak with, the accepted practice is for the driver to stop in centre of the road and for the pedestrian to lean in through the driver’s window with legs as far out behind as possible. This safety conscious arrangement blocks the road from both directions thus minimising the likelihood of accident.

17. GAMES FOR THE CHILDREN. Standing up in the back of an open truck is a game local children love. Visitors can play their own variation by allowing their kids to pop their heads through the open sun roof or through the side windows. Another very popular idea is for the driver to sit a small child on his lap and allowing him to steer the car. Remember that at least the kid isn’t smoking or on the phone! Letting the children park the car on their own is also great fun and always appreciated.

18. CHURCHES. A local will cross himself with his free hand, not the one holding the mobile phone, whenever he passes a church. Hilarious results can often ensue if he happens to spot a friend entering or leaving at the same time, especially if the church is sited on a bend.

Additional Rules for Motor Cyclists

1. CARRYING CAPACITY. The maximum safe load for a motor cycle is 4 persons. 5 persons on a bike, though sometimes seen, is generally thought to cramp the driver especially with luggage as well.
2. CRASH HELMETS. Mandatory. Wearing on the left arm is favoured thus protecting the elbow. If worn on the head the straps should be left undone. Then, in the event of an accident the helmet immediately comes off, preventing unnecessary damage to it. With 3 or 4 persons on the bike and insufficient helmets to go round it is always preferable for the driver to wear the helmet otherwise he risks being struck from behind by a helmeted head when breaking.
3. MOVING OFF. The same rule applies as to cars, however motor cycles should be accelerated hard so as to elevate the front wheel. This elegant manoeuvre is always admired and appreciated by other road users, though it’s more difficult to execute with style when there are three or more people on the bike.
4. PROTECTIVE CLOTHING. The locals are aware that accidents can happen and nearly always wear protective tee-shirt and jeans. The visitors uniform of swimming cossy and crash helmet, though often very snazzy looking, will immediately identify you as “not local”.
Cornwall - Great at any time of the year.

#16 yannis_s

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 10:55 PM

is this copied from another site? If yes, then it will be removed, especially since there is no mention of the source.
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#17 Retired in Crete

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 11:18 PM

Yannis

This has featured on several forums over the years and I have not seen it "accredited" anywhere. I think that, in legal terms, it is "in the public domain". I have seen various versions. On one version the "Rule of the road" is again to drive down the centre of the road so that "if you meet an oncomming vehicle you have a choice of which way to swerve". Another version says "to always drive on the side in the shade".

I bow to your judgement!

The following are my personal additions (written by me and I claim copyrite!)

Accelerator Pedal. New cars come with a fitted device which only allows one position ie flat to the floor. It is fitted to ensure correct "running in" of the engine. This device can only be altered by stamping on the brake pedal, (if fitted ). After a prescribed amount of time, which is estimated to be the drivers 70th birthday, this device fails with the result that the accelerator pedal cannot be depressed more than 10mm, This loss of revs reduces the max speed to 20 KPH. Pick-ups are more affected by this than cars.

Car Roofs. The roof of all Cretan cars are fragile and the sensible driver will drive with one hand holding it firmly in place.

Car Doors. These are also fragile and should be treated as per the roof. The dilema of deciding which costs more to replace results in much waving of arms, which has been known to confuse those more familiar with the old tradition of hand signals. This has been abandoned due to the confusion caused to pedestrians who cannot recognise the "friend" waving at them.
Car passengers usually assist the driver by protecting their doors. This can be particulary confusing to the novice who is more familiar with right hand drive cars.

Scooters. As per motorbikes but with additional capacity to carry large dogs which are laid across the riders feet. The dogs are also used as a deterrent against theft of the scooter when parked.

Parking of Scooters & Mopeds. This is also treated as a game. The objective is to see how many can be jammed in between a row of parked cars. Bonus points are awarded if cars are boxed in and immobilised. See dogs and scooters theft deterrent.


John
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#18 MAVROLIO

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 11:30 PM

i like watching the people drivin on motorcycles and scooters, wearing their helmets as elbow braces HAHAHAHAHAHA
8A PERASEI KAI AYTO

#19 yannis_s

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 07:48 AM

John,
since you say that it has not been copied from another website, but found in various forums, then it is ok with me.
I am very sensitive to unauthorised copying, because it has happened to ExploreCrete several times in the past.
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