The helmet campaign in Crete by Make Roads Safe Hellas and the FIA Foundation was launched in 2011 at a European conference on “Greece and the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020”, held in Chania.
Greece has the highest fatality rate of motorcyclists in the EU, relatively to its population. At the same time, a 2009 EU survey showed that the country has the lowest rate of helmet use.
The campaign aimed to reduce the fatalities and serious injuries of motorcyclists by promoting the proper use of helmets – “On the head and tied!“
As part of the campaign, a helmet-use competition was held in Chania in June 2011, during which motorcyclists who identified to wear a helmet correctly participated free of charge in a lottery, to win one of the four helmets, offered by NOLAN and a VIP ticket for attending a MOTOGP race, offered by FIM. In total, 187 people participated.
It is worth noting that according to the data collected by Make Roads Safe Hellas and the Technical University of Crete, the rates of (proper) helmet usage in Chania are alarmingly low. It was estimated that 1 in 4 riders does wear a helmet or does not have it tied.
The lottery gifts were delivered by the commander of the Traffic Police of Chania, Antonis Kouvarakis, who also made the following statement: “The Traffic Police, trying to contribute to the reduction of road accidents, carries out regular checks on the drivers of all vehicles. Our aim is not only to impose a fine on traffic violators but also to raise awareness and advise motorcyclists to always wear their helmet when driving”.
On his part, Thanasis Chountras Trustee of Make Roads Safe Hellas and instructor of the Riding School, added that “one of the biggest problems of our country is road accidents. Road accidents have become acceptable by the society and escape our attention. In this context any initiative that aims to reduce them should be considered as important and meaningful.”