by Maria Spiliopoulou
ATHENS, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Four people, including a three-year-old child, lost their lives in a car accident on the national highway connecting the Greek capital city to Thessaloniki on Sunday in a tragedy that shocked Greek society and revived the debate regarding the country's poor road safety record.
A speeding Porsche driven by the son of a famous Greek businessman, crashed into a car parked at an emergency station, some 80 km north of the Greek capital, killing a 33-year-old woman and her child.
The Porsche's driver, George Vakakis, as well as his co-passenger, were also killed, police said.
The driver of the parked car had stopped at the rest area to go to the bathroom. According to eyewitnesses, he ran outside when he heard the noise only to find the car, where his wife and son were waiting, in flames.
Speaking to local E television on Monday, Tasos Markouizos, better known as "Iaveris" to Greeks, a former rally driver three decades ago and road safety campaigner ever since, reminded about the gloomy data regarding accidents on Greek roads.
Iaveris said the country has the highest car accident rate in Europe. In recent years, an average of 1,600 people lose their lives in Greece and 20,000 are injured each year.
Experts attribute the high rates mainly to reckless driving and the bad conditions of roads. Iaveris urged Greeks on Monday once again to "wear a seatbelt, do not drink and drive, slow down, and keep in mind the people who are awaiting you at home."