Police force builds up its smart fleet | Cyprus Mail

The police have procured 96 new vehicles, most of which are ‘smart vehicles’, 42 of which are connected to the ANPR system and another nine are ‘stealth’ cars, which will not be immediately recognisable as police patrol units.

The ANPR system can detect a variety of factors, such as number plates, speed control, valid driver’s license, and outstanding warrants or fines. In October 2020, it was announced that the police had obtained 49 such vehicles, with Wednesday’s report adding more to the force.

Head of the police’s technological development department Loizos Prastitis told Phileleftheros that the smart cars will primarily focus on the secondary road network. Of those, 44 are SUVs and will replace the existing fleet.

The force will now also have at its disposal two mobile command units which will be able to independently coordinate the patrol fleet.

They will be deployed at scenes of trouble and will be able to take statements from witnesses on location.

The two units will also be fitted with screens to follow live footage of ongoing incidents.

The nine ‘stealth cars’ will not have police lights or markings and will blend in with the usual traffic.

And, finally, the police force is also being beefed up with a further five anti-riot vehicles which will be able to transport teams to the scene of riots, illegal gatherings and other such incidents.

Source: Police force builds up its smart fleet | Cyprus Mail

After bumpy start, 6,000 traffic camera fines finally issued | Cyprus Mail

The first 6,000 fines for more than 30,00 traffic violations caught by fixed and mobile cameras have been sent out to offenders, 40 days after the system went live officially, police told CyBC radio on Thursday.

Deputy traffic chief Harris Evripidou said the out-of-court fines are being sent by registered mail together with links and passwords to a website where offenders can see details of the traffic offence as well as photographs.

Most of the offences are in residential areas, he added.

The fine must be paid within 30 days otherwise it will rise by half and must be paid within 45 days. If it is not paid by then, the case will be sent to court.

Four fixed cameras have been installed in Nicosia and police are also using four mobile cameras, the first phase of the plan that will eventually see 110 cameras across the Republic in a renewed push to stem the bloodshed on the roads.

Already beset with delays in its launch, the traffic camera scheme got off to a bumpy start when it emerged that administrative and procedural complications were holding up offenders being fined.

The first set of traffic cameras were launched on October 25 and were operating on a pilot basis until January 1, at which point fines were set to be issued.

Yet it is only 40 days after the grace period ended that the first fines have gone out, with a tangled bureaucracy and poor communication between government departments billed as the one of the main factors for the delay.

Local media reported last month that one office may have the public’s information stored in Greek, another in English and another in a mix of both, making it difficult to confirm a person’s place of residence, for example.

Mobile camera units typically record speeding violations while the fixed units also pick up passing the line at a red light, speeding, not wearing a helmet and parking on yellow lines.

The contract for the cameras includes 90 fixed units in 30 locations around the island as well as 20 mobile cameras which police will determine their location and operating hours on a daily basis.

Source: After bumpy start, 6,000 traffic camera fines finally issued | Cyprus Mail

Authorities mull changes to learner’s licence requirements | Cyprus Mail

Road safety lessons at school could become a prerequisite for young drivers to secure their learner’s licence as government ministries discuss measures to improve driving standards.

Meetings have been held between government ministries to see what can be done, with the transport and education ministries studying which measures could be brought in at schools to cultivate a greater culture of road safety.

One such proposal is that attending road safety lessons at school become a prerequisite to obtaining a learner’s driving licence.

Elsewhere, the transport and education ministers looked to conscripts at the national guard – a demographic seen as more likely to be involved in crashes.

Proposals may be made to hold road safety seminars at the army camps.

Source: Authorities mull changes to learner’s licence requirements | Cyprus Mail

Municipalities eye installing traffic cameras | Cyprus Mail

Traffic Cameras

Municipalities may soon deploy traffic cameras of their own following the green light from the transport ministry, but offences such as speeding won’t be recorded.

The reopening of Nicosia’s revamped Makarios Avenue brought the issue to prominence as one of its two lanes is open only to buses and a few eligible vehicles – as per EU stipulations, which funded the project – but all manners of other cars are encroaching on the bus lane.

Nicosia municipality has said that it is unable to prevent private cars from entering the bus lane without the assistance of a camera monitoring system – which would issue fines to ineligible vehicles veering into it.

“They are currently being installed and the network will be operational by May or June,” Nicosia mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis told SigmaLive on Wednesday morning.

Yiorkadjis said that the police are responsible for preventing ineligible vehicles from entering the bus lane and not the municipality’s traffic wardens – who instead only check for parking violations.

But it remains undecided as to whether the police or the municipalities will bear responsibility for the camera system, Yiorkadjis said.

Discussions are underway to revise the institutional framework which would permit the camera systems to operate, a process which got further underway following a meeting hosted on Tuesday by the transport ministry. The union of municipalities attended, as did legal advisors who are to draw up plans which will in turn be sent to the transport ministry, the legal services and eventually parliament for a vote.

As it stands, the cameras deployed by municipalities will only issue fines for parking violations and vehicles entering lanes they are not permitted.

Makarios Avenue reopened on December 7 but it was announced that all vehicles will temporarily gain access, seemingly in contradiction to the stipulations set out by Nicosia’s urban mobility plan.

Source: Municipalities eye installing traffic cameras | Cyprus Mail