Cyprus saw over 10,000 road accidents in 12 years with 729 fatalities
The majority of fatal traffic accidents’ victims in Cyprus are men, while most of those killed failed to wear a seatbelt or a helmet, data from the justice ministry has revealed.
Cyprus saw 729 deaths from traffic accidents in the last 12 years, with 571 or 78 per cent being men, the advisor of the minister of justice for road safety Iasonas Senekis told the Cyprus News Agency this week.
Police recorded 10,542 collisions that resulted in 15,173 injuries in that period.
Of those, 5,950 people were seriously injured and 9,223 were slightly injured. Another 5,687 traffic accidents were recorded without any injuries.
The biggest number of fatalities was recorded in 2008 with 82 victims, while 2013 saw the fewest number of deaths with 43 dying on the road.
“The more one analyses the statistics, one understands that the road does not discriminate. The numbers reveal some truths but only half the picture, because next to each number there is a name,” Sekkeris said.
More than half of the road deaths were recorded in Nicosia and Limassol which counted 221 and 212 deaths respectively.
Car drivers and passengers accounted for 323 of the deaths, with 60 per cent not wearing a seatbelt. Another 224 concerned drivers and passengers on motorcycles with 54 per cent failing to wear a helmet, the official added. The total deaths included 17 children aged under 15.
Concerning the factors that cause overall road accidents, the primary culprit is alcohol with 26 per cent of all accidents. Reckless and careless driving was the main factor in 22 per cent, and speed 12 per cent. But speed was the main factor in one third of the fatal accidents.
“The severity of the collision and consequently the injuries are greatly affected by the speed of the vehicles involved,” Sekkeris said.
Sekkeris cited a study on this by the European transport safety council (ETSC) and the organisation for economic cooperation and development (OECD), as well as the executive seminar for speed and speed management last December.
He added that a Metropolitan police study in London in 2019 showed that speed contributed to 50 per cent of the fatal traffic accidents.
The Road Safety Council is considering which busy city streets will have their speed limit reduced from the current 50km/h to 30km/h.
Such a policy shift would be just one of the many sweeping reforms over the last year, from drastically overhauling traffic penalties to eventually reinstalling traffic cameras, in a bid to address Cyprus’ high rate of traffic fatalities.
As it stands, the 30km/h limit only applies near schools, some busy traffic junctions, a couple of streets in Nicosia and parts of the Limassol old town.
“This policy has many benefits, clearly making the roads safer – which will encourage more people to cycle in the cities and make it more likely children can play freely in their neighbourhoods,” Jason Senekkis, road safety advisor to the justice ministry, told the Cyprus Mail on Thursday.
He explained that the 30km/h limit will be introduced gradually, with a few streets to be identified throughout 2021.
The latest traffic committee meeting – attended by municipalities, police officers and ministries – supported the proposal to extend the areas covered by a 30km/h speed limit, with the Road Safety Council to decide which roads the change will apply to.
The plan is based on the Stockholm Declaration, which in March 2020 argued that streets with ‘mixed traffic’ – pedestrians, cars, cyclists, e-scooters and such – are better off with a 30km/h speed limit.
“Brussels has actually introduced the 30km/h speed limit across the city, with only some streets being exempt from this, in Cyprus we’re doing it the opposite way,” he said.
“Currently, [in Cyprus] most city streets are about 50km/h and some will become 30km/h.”
Senekkis also cited reduced pollution as another major benefit to the proposal, both in terms of noise and air quality.
The policy shift would certainly change the pace of city life, but perhaps also the face of it.
There are concerns as to how the speed limit would be enforced, as Senekkis says police should be the last resort.
A variety of methods could be used, he said, such as installing more street furniture, additional parking spaces to help narrow the streets, speed bumps – but this should not be overused, he adds – and even converting others into one-way roads.
Last year, the road transport department carried out a study which found that 70 per cent of road deaths in Cyprus occur within built-up areas. This far exceeds the EU average of 35 per cent.
The road transport department announced on Tuesday the rules concerning the importation of vehicles from the UK following its EU exit.
According to the department, an M1 category vehicle – passenger car with up to eight seats not including the driver – can be registered in Cyprus provided it is up to five-years-old on the date of arrival, counting from the date it had been registered new in any country.
This does not apply to M1 vehicles already transported or imported to Cyprus from the UK, but not yet registered, or will be loaded for shipping to the Republic by Monday, February 15.
These vehicles can be registered whenever, even if its age exceeds five years.
The department said to register, an M1 vehicle must be accompanied by the original registration certificate (V5c) from the UK, a valid Cypriot MOT, an EU Whole Vehicle Type-Approval (Wvta) or Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) in Cyprus.
A UK registration certificate issued by the end of last year constitutes adequate proof that the vehicle has Wvta, provided it bears the Wvta indication. The indication on the V5c is found at point K – Type of approval number – and is in the form of e.g e4*2007/46*0186*11.
If there is no such indication, to register the vehicle, it must receive the SVA in Cyprus.
Vehicles in the M2 and M3 categories (buses) and N1, N2, and N3 cargo transporters (vans, twin cabs, trucks) are registered irrespective of age, provided they have certification proving their emissions comply with EU standards on the date the vehicle was registered in any country for the first time and they are equipped with ABS.
The UK registration certificate issued by the end of the year is again considered adequate proof as concerns emissions provided the engine is the one stated in the document. If it is a different engine, the department wants a certificate that its emissions comply with the respective EU standards.
Category L vehicles – mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles, and quad bikes – will be registered irrespective of age, provided they are accompanied by the European certificate of conformity in force on the date of its first registration. The department also accepts a copy of the certificate issued by the manufacturer or their representative.
The department also accepts the UK registration certificate issued by the end of the year, which is considered adequate proof that the vehicle has Wvta, provided the document bears the approval of the type of vehicle.
The transport ministry has set fixed fares for taxis travelling to and from the airports, starting on March 1.
The fares include urban and rural taxi services.
In a written statement on Friday, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos called on taxi drivers to implement the newly set fares “as one of the steps taken to improve the taxi transport sector in Cyprus”.
The decision aimed to solve a longstanding problem mainly concerning the appropriate information of visitors, tourists and others who use the service.
“The establishment of fixed fares is expected to give credibility to taxi transport thus improving professionalism and increase passenger traffic,” the ministry said.
According to the ministry no driver is allowed to charge lower or higher than those rates.
|Taxis carrying up to 4 passengers||Taxis carrying 5 – 6 |
|From||To||Day Price||Night Price||Day Price||Night Price|
|(06.00 – 20.30)||(20.30 – 06.00)||(06.00 – 20.30)||(20.30 – 06.00)|
|Larnaca Airport||Nicosia||€ 45||€ 50||€ 60||€ 65|
|Limassol||€ 50||€ 60||€ 65||€ 80|
|Larnaca||€ 15||€ 20||€ 20||€ 25|
|Protaras||€ 55||€ 65||€ 70||€ 85|
|Ayia Napa||€ 50||€ 60||€ 65||€ 80|
|Pissouri||€ 80||€ 95||€ 105||€ 125|
|Paphos, Peyia||€ 100||€ 120||€ 130||€ 155|
|Polis, Argaka, Pomos||€ 130||€ 150||€ 170||€ 195|
|Troodos Area||€ 85||€ 100||€ 110||€ 130|
|Pyrgos Tyllirias||€ 160||€ 190||€ 210||€ 245|
|Paphos Airport||Nicosia||€ 110||€ 130||€ 145||€ 170|
|Limassol||€ 50||€ 60||€ 65||€ 80|
|Larnaca||€ 100||€ 120||€ 130||€ 155|
|Famagusta Area||€ 130||€ 150||€ 170||€ 195|
|Paphos, Peyia||€ 20||€ 25||€ 25||€ 35|
|Polis, Argakas, Pomos||€ 45||€ 50||€ 60||€ 65|
|Troodos Area||€ 55||€ 65||€ 70||€ 85|
|Pyrgos Tyllirias||€ 75||€ 85||€ 95||€ 110|
The above fixed fares include the cost of luggage carriage as well as the VAT. Fixed fares also apply on public holidays.
Road tax renewals for 2021 will start on January 7, the road transport department said on Wednesday.
The last date for renewals is March 11, 2021. After that date there will be a surcharge.
The road tax can be renewed for a period of three, six, nine or 12 months, it added.
Vehicles must have an MOT and insurance.
The department urged owners to renew their road tax in time and not to wait until the last minute to avoid potentially overloading he system which could lead to inconvenience.
All vehicle owners who had renewed their road tax in 2020 but do not intend to do so for 2021 must notify the department that they are immobilising their vehicle by completing form TOM12B. Failure to do so will mean the fee remains outstanding.
Vehicles for which the road tax was not renewed in 2020 and have not been declared as immobilised will be struck off the department’s registry unless the outstanding sum is paid and the road tax renewed by Thursday, March 11, 2021.
In the event that a vehicle has been scrapped, an application (form TOM98A) and a certificate to that effect issued by authorised facilities, must be submitted to the department so that the owner is no longer liable to pay road tax.
Road tax can be renewed throughout the year online, at banks, citizens’ help centres, district post offices and district offices of the road transport department of the transport ministry.
Owners will not be sent notifications to renew their road tax, the department also said.
Source: Road tax renewals to start on January 7 | Cyprus Mail
Thirteen years after the national traffic camera network was dismantled, efforts to resuscitate the project suffered further setback as companies challenged the tender process.
The contract was finally awarded last month to US-based Conduent State and Local Solutions Inc, which submitted an offer of just over €34m.
The tender is for 90 fixed cameras to monitor red-light and stop-sign violations, as well as for speeding, with a further 20 mobile units to be deployed by the police during specific campaigns or in rural areas.
But this week, the four unsuccessful companies all issued appeals to the tender review authority – a move which could potentially clog up works for months if not years.
A transport ministry official told the Cyprus Mail that the matter should be clarified next week, with a meeting set to take place on Monday.
The authority could put the project on hold to review the matter further or it may give the green light for the winning company to go ahead.
But the companies could ultimately try and take the case all the way to the courts.
And to make matters even more complicated, transport minister Yiannis Karousos said on Thursday that his department would issue an objection if a suspension order is given.
While the traffic camera issue has been on the backburner for years, it has recently re-emerged as a potentially vital tool by the government to reduce road fatalities.
Cyprus also ranks as one of the highest countries in the EU as regards road deaths per head of the population.
Along with an overhaul of the driving offences fines on October 1, authorities are hopeful that stricter measures in force on the roads will improve public safety.
The road transport department carried out a study in September which found that 70 per cent of road deaths in Cyprus occur within built-up areas. This far exceeds the EU average of 35 per cent.
Cyprus is famed for being overstuffed with civil servants, but there is one type of public officer – the traffic warden – which is rarely sighted in the wild and in…
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Two bills regulating fines for road violations caught on speed cameras have been submitted to the House of Representatives for approval.
Last July, 13 years after the national traffic camera network was dismantled due to a series of technical and legal issues, the government invited tenders for a new system seen as critical to efforts to stem the bloodshed on the roads.
Five bidders from Cyprus, Europe and the US submitted final tenders for the installation and operation of the cameras, which are expected to be up and running by the end of 2020.
According to media reports on Wednesday, the contract was awarded to US-based Conduent State and Local Solutions Inc, which submitted an offer of just over €34m.
The tender is for 90 fixed cameras to monitor red light and stop sign violations, as well as for speeding, with a further 20 mobile units to be deployed by the police during specific campaigns or in rural areas.
The two bills, which must be approved by House of Representatives before they come into force, outline the general regulations concerning procedural issues, such as how the out of court fines will be sent and paid, as well as other legal issues that are expected to arise once the speed cameras are fully operational.
Police and non-governmental organisations over the years have repeatedly stressed the necessity of re-introducing the cameras on roads in Cyprus as an effective measure to prevent road-related deaths.
Road safety efforts have also been boosted by heavier fines that came into force on October 1 for speeding and other traffic violations.
Under the bills submitted to the House, there will be a 90-day window to deliver the fine to the registered owner of the vehicle and the driver, whose name will be given by the owner.
They also provide for procedures to be followed should the individual refuse to take receipt of the fine notification or denies having committed the offence.
A registered owner who refuses to take receipt of the fine and fails to pay it will be charged. Registered owners who say they were not driving the vehicle must inform authorities in writing within 15 days of receiving the fine and give the name of the driver. The 90-day time frame will then be renewed. Alternatively, proceedings will continue against the owner. Companies owning vehicles caught breaking the law will also be liable. This applies to the company itself as well as to its board members or managing directors.
If the out of court fine is not paid within 15 days from the day it is delivered, a penalty equal to half the fine will be added to the sum, to be paid in 15 days. Payment of fines will not accepted 30 days after the fine has been delivered and the case will go to court. Payment of the fine will automatically mean the driver accepts the penalty points on the driving licence cited on the notification. These will be imposed electronically.
In addition, the bills will allow private citizens so authorised to deliver fine notifications.
Police will start a two-week campaign on Monday checking that people are wearing seatbelts and children are using car seats as part of ongoing efforts to reduce the number of series and fatal injuries in traffic accidents.
The campaign will run until Sunday November 8.
The campaign aims to encourage the use of belts and car seats among drivers as a mindset. Use of a seatbelt remains the most important safety measure in cars, police said. According to police data, from 2017 to 2019, 55.56 per cent of drivers and passengers killed in traffic accidents were not wearing a seatbelt.
Paphos municipality said on Thursday it will be stepping up a campaign to stamp out illegal parking, taking special aim at those parked on pavements.
The municipality said traffic wardens will be carrying out strict checks with immediate fines being issued.
“To avoid unnecessary expenses and inconveniences, drivers are kindly requested to comply with the traffic code,” the announcement read.