Tunnel of the new Corinth-Patra highway named after ‘Panos Mylonas’ - in recognition of RSI’s contribution to Road Safety in Greece
Tunnel of the new Corinth-Patra highway named after ‘Panos Mylonas’ - in recognition of RSI’s contribution to Road Safety in Greece

Athens, 13 April 2017
 
Tunnel of the new Corinth-Patra highway named after ‘Panos Mylonas’
- in recognition of RSI’s contribution to Road Safety in Greece
 
 
Tuesday 11th April 2017 was a bright day for Greece’s road safety and infrastructure. The 120 kilometres long Corinth-Patras section of the Olympia National Road was inaugurated by the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, making the trip from the city of Patras to the capital Athens just an hour and a half journey.

The Corinth-Patras National Road (E 65) is the western section of the Athens-Korinthos-Patras National Road (NR 8A) and forms part of the TEN-T road network. This road is considered to be the 'new' road from Corinth to Patras, since the previous one was passing through villages and cities. After the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 90's the importance of this road was significantly increased due to the commercial transport of goods through the Port of Patras and the rest of Europe.

Until recently, NR Corinth-Patras was notorious for its lack of safety standards, being an undivided carriageway road with one lane and an additional multi-purpose lane per direction. This specific design of road cross section, along with traffic volumes of AADT 20.000 and a high percentage of heavy vehicles caused too many fatal and serious injury (FSI) crashes. The decade 2000-2010 NR Korinthos-Patras had an accident record of 0,60 fatal accidents per kilometre or 30 fatalities per 109 vehicle-kilometers travelled per year. These statistics are record high for Greece and characterized this road as one of the most dangerous roads to travel in Europe.
Having claimed hundreds of lives, it’s no wonder that, for several decades, Greeks used to call the Corinth-Patras national road a “carmagnole” (meaning guillotine). It was in this road that the 22-year-old university student Panos Mylonas died in 2004 after a fatal crash caused by a reckless driver who crossed to the opposite lane at high speed.

In 2005, one year after Panos’ tragic and unfair loss, the Road Safety Institute for the Prevention of Road Crashes was founded to his memory by his mother Vasiliki Danelli-Mylonas, following an unprecedented mobilization by his family, friends, colleagues at the University of Patras and dozens of private entities, all demanding safer roads and better traffic education.

Within its scope of actions and interventions, Road Safety Institute 'Panos Mylonas' had installed warning signs according to international standards after a road safety study that identified the most dangerous points and sections of the Corinth-Patras road. This action along with the new road construction detours resulted to the drastic decrease of FSI crashes during the last years.
Finally, after many years, with problems in land acquisition, financial and technical strains, the construction of the Athens-Corinth National Road has been completed unveiling a high standard motorway with full access control. With an emergency and two traffic lanes in both directions as well as 12 tunnels with a total length of 18 kilometres, the new highway is introducing drivers to a series of long-delayed modern safety standards.

At the recent official inauguration of the motorway, the tunnel of Aigeira near the city of Aigio, was given the name of Panos Mylonas. The announcement of the naming of the tunnel by Mr. Christos Spirtzis, the Greek Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, during the inauguration ceremony, triggered a very warm round of applause. Mrs. Mylona was deeply moved by the honor granted by the Greek government in recognition of her son as well as the Road Safety Institute’s (RSI) efforts and work achieved for the prevention and reduction of road crashes in Greece.
The majority of the Greek media also hailed the decision as one bearing a great deal of symbolism since RSI ‘Panos Mylonas’ with its internationally renowned expertise and breadth of road safety related activities is considered as the most established body on road safety in Greece.
 
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