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Road tax changes slammed by car importers – Cyprus Mail

Amendments made by cabinet to the law on motor vehicles, which will see the introduction of an emission-based road tax, were slammed on Tuesday as unfair and unconstitutional by the Cyprus Car Importers Association (Pasea).

The amendments do not promote environmental protection, nor do they promote anti-pollution policies, Pasea said. Rather, the additional charges will only disproportionately affect the average low-income consumer who cannot afford a new car, as well as importers of older used cars.

Sole beneficiaries of the amendments, Pasea added, are importers of new cars and high-income buyers able to purchase new luxury cars with low CO2 emissions, shutting the average consumer out of the automobile market as a result.

Pasea president Mattheos Ioannou said the law amendments threaten to render the most popular vehicle category, those with 1416 horsepower engines, out of bounds for the average Cypriot consumer, with road taxes skyrocketing from €80-90 to €300-600.

On December 5, cabinet approved amendments to the law on motor vehicles, which abolish consumption taxes across the board and introduce an emission-based road tax for passenger vehicles and light vans.

The changes concern vehicles registered in the Republic after the law comes into force at the beginning of 2019.

The changes will see a rise in the road tax of passenger vehicles with high CO2 emissions and a rise in the road tax of newly registered passenger vehicles and vans according to their age.

On top of this, road tax charged on used vehicles imported after the law comes into force will also include additional charges based on their age.

Source: Road tax changes slammed by car importers – Cyprus Mail

Falling fuel prices could drop further – Cyprus Mail

A bill seeing a reduction in fuel prices by five cents is due to be submitted to parliament by Diko before Christmas, boosting the decrease seen in the retail price of fuel in November.

The price of 95 octane petrol decreased in November by €0.072 per litre compared to the previous month, with the average price being at €1.247 per litre, the association said.

The price of diesel also fell by €0.048 per litre compared to October, selling for €1.332 per litre.
From November’s reductions in price on the two types of fuel consumers saved a total of €132,628, the Consumers Association said on Monday.

A price decrease was also seen in heating oil in November, which fell by €25 per thousand litres compared to October, as its average price on November 1 was €979 per thousand litres, with the price falling to €954 by the end of the month.

Despite price decreases for November, prices are still much higher than January this year when the average of heating oil was €825 per thousand litres.

The association highlighted the large number of residents of the Republic who travel to the north to buy fuel, noting that between January and October this year 12,538,017 litres of 95 fuel and 14,075,756 litres of diesel were bought from the north.

Petrol stations in the south recorded revenue losses of €1,463,758, which also brought about a loss of revenue for the state (via taxes and VAT) of €19,168,330, the association added.

Prices are expected to fall by an additional five cents if parliament approves a bill seeking to reduce consumption tax on fuel, proposed by Diko last month.

The bill, a part of a more extensive social package agreed by Diko chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos with the government and ruling Disy, is currently under review by the finance ministry, Diko spokesman Athos Antoniades told the Cyprus Mail on Tuesday, and is expected to be placed before parliament in December.

The social package agreed is expected to cost some €100m and involves an in-crease of €50 to low pensions, a five-cent cut in fuel tax and heating fuel subsidies for people living in higher areas.

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades, who took part in a meeting in November with Papadopoulos, Disy leader Averof Neophytou and Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou on Tuesday said he disagreed with the reduction in fuel tax.

Georgiades said he thought cutting the tax on bank deposit interest would be a better move.

Source: Falling fuel prices could drop further – Cyprus Mail

Road tax changes to penalise polluting vehicles – Cyprus Mail

The cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments to the law on motor vehicles, which abolish consumption taxes across the board and introduces an emission-based road tax for passenger vehicles and light vans.

The changes concern vehicles registered in the Republic after the law comes into force at the beginning of 2019.

The changes will see a rise in the road tax of passenger vehicles with high CO2 emissions and a rise in the road tax of newly registered passenger vehicles and vans according to their age.

According to the bill, road tax for those two vehicle categories will take into consideration the combined cycle CO2 emissions – euros per gramme per kilometre.

  • For 120 gr/km the tax will €0.50 per gr/km, or €60;
  • between 120 and 150, €3;
  • 150 to 180, €6;
  • over 180, €12.

Annual road tax cannot exceed €1,500.

On top of this, road tax charged on used vehicles imported after the law comes into force will also include additional charges based on their age.

  • No charges will be imposed on used cars, petrol or diesel, up to one-year-old;
  • between one and two, zero for petrol and €100 for diesel;
  • two to three, €50 for petrol and €200 for diesel;
  • three to four €100 and €300;
  • four to five, €250 and €500;
  • five to eight, €500 to €1,000;
  • eight to 10, €750 and €1,500;
  • over 10, €1,000 and €2,000.

Source: Road tax changes to penalise polluting vehicles – Cyprus Mail

Drinking and driving target of new police campaign – Cyprus Mail

A seven-day police campaign starting on Monday will see the force target drivers who have been drinking on an island-wide level.

In the EU a quarter of all traffic accidents are due to the driver having drunk alcohol. Drinking increases the chances of a driver being involved in a crash as it increases reaction time.

It also results in a lack of self judgement and increased self esteem, which lead to more dangerous behaviour, increased speed and the non use of seatbelts.

In advance of the campaign police in Nicosia and Limassol carried out a targeted operation against drink drivers in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Out of 750 alcotests, 89 people were charged for drink driving, while another 89 were stopped for driving over the speed limit and 66 for other traffic offences.

The police campaigns continue with the aim of reducing the number of fatal and serious traffic accidents on the roads of Cyprus.

Source: Drinking and driving target of new police campaign – Cyprus Mail

Three arrests after drunk drivers leave car ‘carnage’ in their wake – Cyprus Mail

Police on Saturday urged motorists not to drink and drive after the arrests on Friday night of three drivers who were so drunk they managed to plough into 12 cars between them.

One of them, a 46-year-old man from Larnaca, who crashed into two cars was caught twice in the same evening for driving over the limit.

The two other arrests occurred in Paphos where police arrested two men, aged 28 and 49, on two separate occasions who crashed into six and four cars respectively while driving drunk.

The 28-year-old was arrested on Friday evening after he caused three consecutive road accidents, involving six other cars.

The man first bashed into the back of a car that was stopped at traffic lights on Gladstonos street in Paphos just before 8.30pm. Right after the accident the 28-year-old left the scene, police said, by doing a U-turn and entering the opposite lane, where he then crashed into two oncoming cars.

He fled the scene, only to crash into three other cars further down the road. The man, according to the police, drove away once more, and was located shortly after by officers in his car.

A similar incident occurred a few hours later, at around 2am on Saturday, when a 49-year-old man, under conditions still being investigated, lost control of his car while driving on Kifissou street and crashed into a stationary vehicle parked at the side of the road. He hit the vehicle with such force that it moved and hit another car that was also parked there.

The 49-year-old continued driving and then crashed into another car parked further down the road, again with such force that it too moved and crashed into another parked car. After the second crash the 49-year-old’s car was immobilised.

He was arrested after being found to be over six times over the alcohol limit.

No injuries were reported, police said, but all the vehicles involved were damaged.

In the Larnaca incident, the driver ploughed into a municipal rubbish truck just after midnight while trying to escape a police car that was chasing him for failing to stop for a traffic check.

Larnaca traffic police chief, Haris Hadjiyiasemi, said that the 46-year-old, prior to the accident, was signalled by officers on duty to stop because he was seen driving dangerously and suspected of being drunk. Instead, he sped off and, in his attempt to escape the police car chasing him, he first rammed into the back of a rubbish truck and while trying to flee the scene, he reversed and hit another car that was parked on the side of the road.

He was found to be almost five times over the alcohol limit. He was given a narcotest which was negative.

The 46-year-old was driven by officers back to his home and his car was towed back to his house as it was extensively damaged from the crash.

Yet, just two hours later, he was caught for the second time driving the same car, whose entire front part had been extensively damaged and a flat tyre, on Stadiou street. He was chased by the police after failing to stop.

The police car chased him all the way up to his house where he was arrested.

He is to be charged and released, but Hadjiyiasemi said that instructions were given to ensure his case is filed promptly in court.

The spate of drunken accidents prompted police to warn once more that alcohol reduces “the mental and psychological effort that is being made while driving and reduce the driver’s performance and abilities, thus increasing the risk of car accidents.”

They also said that driving under the influence of alcohol is the number one cause of fatal road accidents in Cyprus. In the EU, it said 25 per cent of all fatal road accidents are due to drink driving.

Source: Three arrests after drunk drivers leave car ‘carnage’ in their wake – Cyprus Mail

Police presence on roads having impact, force says – Cyprus Mail

The implementation of road policing is showing significant results, police announced on Tuesday.

“Road policing is a modern, international method of policing, which effectively contributes to the prevention of road traffic accidents and, more generally, to the fight against crime. The Cyprus police has been implementing road policing since 2013, aiming to tackle crime more effectively through road traffic controls,” the announcement said.

To prove their point, police headquarters published the number of offences officers have investigated by this method from the beginning of 2015 until October 31 this year.

Total offences steadily increased, from 425 in 2015 to 1,914 in the first ten months of 2018. The number of illegal immigrant cases doubled in the same time period, from 21 to 42.

More cases having to do with drugs were also examined on the island’s roads. While there were 80 three years ago the number is now 306.

Other offences, including traffic violations, are up from 213 to 1,237.
Source: Police presence on roads having impact, force says – Cyprus Mail

Police launch traffic light campaign – Cyprus Mail

Police launched a week-long campaign on Monday on traffic lights, to stamp down on those driving through red lights and creeping over lines.

This will be the sixth such campaign this year, police said, as part of efforts for the prevention and reduction of road accidents, but also raise road safety awareness among drivers.

The campaign will continue until Sunday.

Source: Police launch traffic light campaign – Cyprus Mail

Police to target mobile phone use while driving – Cyprus Mail

More than one quarter of fatal road accident victims so far this year were people up to 25 years old, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Monday at the launch of a week-long campaign clamping down on drivers who fail to have both hands of the steering wheel.

Since the beginning of the year 42 people died in 37 fatal road accidents, he said. Eleven of them were under 25 and were killed as a result of careless driving and/or driving under the influence of alcohol, Nicolaou said.

Recalling the results of a study carried out on behalf of his ministry last year, Nicolaou said that Cypriot drivers were found to be hasty, impatient and careless on the road.

He said that a package of bills providing for harsher penalties for those causing fatal and serious accidents is to be tabled before the cabinet within days for approval.

It was hoped, he said, that the bills, in tandem with increased police presence on the roads, would ensure wiser drivers, especially those who are indifferent to the punishment of their actions.

“It is tragic to consider that in a modern society, 16 lost their lives (this year) on the tarmac because they had no seat belts on and another nine because they had no protective helmets on,” Nicolaou said.

He added that it is only through a multifaceted strategy that awareness can be raised and lead to a decrease in the thousands of fines for traffic violations for using a mobile phone while driving and speeding.

The government, he said, is focusing mainly on young drivers and has expanded its cooperation with non-governmental organisations active in the field of road safety such as the Cyprus Youth Organisation.

“By the end of this year we will have a comprehensive plan of targeted interventions that will run in 2019 to raise awareness among the youth and especially young drivers,” he said.

“The training of tomorrow’s drivers” is also being promoted by the introduction last year of the traffic education course in lyceums and tougher regulations for obtaining a driver’s licence.

A driver rehabilitation school is also being established for traffic offenders deemed by the court or police as in need of re-training.

The police campaign against drivers not having both hands on the wheel ends on Sunday and will mainly focus on those using mobile phones while behind the wheel.

On an international basis, police said, breaking the concentration of the driver is one of the main causes in the increased number of traffic accidents.

The use of mobile phones while driving has a drastic impact on the driver’s attention, especially while trying to send a text at the same time.

Those caught using their phone while driving are fined and lose points on their licence.

Source: Police to target mobile phone use while driving – Cyprus Mail

Bad Paphos drivers clock up 1,651 violations – Cyprus Mail

In the first 23 days of October Paphos police recorded a total of 1,651 cases of traffic code violations.

Paphos police recorded 704 cases of speeding, 123 of mobile phone use while driving, and 239 cases where drivers were not wearing seat belts or safety helmets.

Regarding high alcohol consumption, the police said checks showed one in ten drivers were above the allowed limit.

From the total 798 checks for alcohol consumption, 81 drivers were above the limit. Meanwhile, one driver was found driving under the influence of drugs.

An additional 503 drivers were reported for various other traffic code violations.

Source: Bad Paphos drivers clock up 1,651 violations – Cyprus Mail

71% of motorists WRONLY think autonomous cars are on sale today

Driver assistance systems in cars ‘dangerously confuse’ motorists into thinking they are autonomous vehicles, safety groups warn

  • 71% of motorists wrongly believe self-driving cars are already on sale
  • This is because many are confusing driver assist features – like adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist – as autonomy 
  • Controlled tests revealed that assist systems couldn’t avoid all crashes
  • Euro NCAP and Thatcham both said drivers need to be alert at all times 

Source: 71% of motorists WRONLY think autonomous cars are on sale today