Judicial authorities in the island of Crete, in cooperation with the University of Crete in Iraklio have set up an innovative treatment of juvenile road offenders. Under the new programme, young adolescents who commit traffic offenses will face an extra penalty beyond their predetermined sentence: attend seminars on road safety and traffic awareness.
This initiative came after the number of accidents in Crete’s poorly-maintained road network have soared in recent years, with hundreds of people losing their lives by the road. Besides serving their usual sentences, judicial authorities will redirect road offenders to University of Crete seminars. Participants are expected to receive tuition on bad driving practices and popular myths around driving behaviour in Greece. Further they will participate on hypothetical three-dimensional (3-D) scenarios, where they will be forced to make prudent driving decisions under duress.
Through these seminars, young drivers will witness the impact of cellular phone usage whilst on road and the consequences stemming from reckless and speedy driving. They will also be made aware of the dangers from disrespecting traffic signals and lights and will be given advice to avoid driving under alcohol, drugs and other types of medications which might impair their motor movement.
The head of the initiative at University of Crete, Assistant Professor Maria Papadaki, expressed determination that the programme’s objective ‘is not to punish offenders but rather to fill in the gaps they have in terms of road safety.’