Oil on the road. Responsibility of the Greek State?


The State and its institutions are indeed responsible for warning of oils on the road as well as undertaking the necessary steps to regulate traffic and cleaning. If necessary, they can even act to stop traffic altogether.

However, if it is known what caused the oil spillage and the State has not been informed of the fact, then the responsibility is borne by the person who caused it, especially if he/she did not undertake adequate notification measures to warn the vehicles driving on the road.

In the following case the Greek Traffic Police was considered responsible because they had not undertaken the appropriate measures, and so the State was forced to pay compensation for the value of the car as well as for equitable relief.

The Highway Traffic Police, which police on a 24-hour basis the national road grid should have pointed to the existence of oil on the surface of the highway and have taken timely and appropriate measures to that end, in cooperation with the competent authorities of the Ministry for the Environment and Public Works. Such measures are: the direct placement at that point of a suitable danger sign for slippery pavement (tagged k-12) or warning to the drivers by other appropriate means, or even the closure of the street (if this was necessary), and then cleaning of the roadway from the oils without delay.

The liability of the Greek State was proven according to the article 105 Eis n. a. k, for omissions of its organs, (direct cleaning of the road from the oils and placement of special signage) as it turned out that, the vehicle diverted from its course while being on the new national road Athens-Corinth, and it was due of the existence of oils on the roadway. The result of the diversion was the crashing of the vehicle at a light post and its almost complete destruction.

In accordance with article 1 para. 1 of p.d. 219/1997 (GOVERNMENT GAZETTE Α΄ 168), a temporary Special Public Works Department was formed with the title "Special division of public works which studies and constructs projects of maintenance, improvement and operation of motorways" (E.Y.D.E. Motorway Maintenance) and with responsibility the oversight, supervision and direct control of design and construction of maintenance projects, improvement and operation of finalized and under construction motorways of the country road axis of Patras, Athens, Thessaloniki, Evzoni (PATE), the part connecting Tripolis with PATE as well as every other part of a closed road which will be motorway.

Maintenance and minor improvements for axes of road networks, carried out under the responsibility of the "E.Y.D.E.- Motorway Maintenance), still belongs to the competent technical services of the State, acc to. 1 par. 4 of Decree 102/2000

Finally, in accordance with article 28 of presidential decree 141/1991 "Responsibilities of Institutions of the Ministry of Public Order" (Government Gazette Α ' 58), the commanders of the local Police Departments will undertake all necessary measures for the exercise of traffic police in their area and the appropriate traffic control and ensure or cause the actions of the competent authorities for appropriate equipment of roads with vertical and horizontal signage. ".


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