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.
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.
“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 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.
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.
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.
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
A 36-year-old man was caught on Thursday night on the Limassol to Nicosia motorway driving at almost 200 kilometres per hour.
Officers signalled the driver to stop near Skarinou but he apparently ignored them. He was doing 196km/h, almost 100km over the speed limit.
He was eventually stopped near the Alambra industrial area.
Officers found out that the 36-year-old was not the owner of the car, whose road tax had expired last July. The car’s owner was a passenger in the vehicle.
Both men were led to the local police station where they were charged with a number of offences.
Police said Friday they were studying ways to ease traffic jams in Nicosia, which have worsened in recent days, prompting angry outbursts from motorists who are forced to spend hours behind the wheel.
The force used a helicopter twice on Friday to survey the capital in a bid to find ways of easing traffic.
A police statement said chief Zacharias Chrysostomou had given instructions for a study to be done and come with recommendations that will be submitted to the authorities.
On Friday, assistant to the chief Demetris Demetriou, who had served as the forces traffic chief for years, took to the skies in a helicopter to map the problem and seek alternative solutions.
The force however, stressed that traffic problems were also the result of lack of infrastructure and public transport, which had to be created or reinforced.
Police said they would help in every way to improve the situation despite being short staffed. The chief has repeatedly asked the government to fill some 500 vacant positions.
Nicosia residents and visitors driving into the capital have been experiencing long traffic jams for some years, especially at its entrance.
Various infrastructure projects which are running simultaneously have only served to exacerbate the situation. The long delays in the completion of Eleftheria Square make things worse since other projects have started in the immediate area, which meant more road closures.
Another large project causing problems are the roadworks on Kallipoleos Avenue, which served as an exit from the centre.