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Plans underway to regulate elderly drivers – InCyprus

Traffic Police Chief Yiannakis Charalambous says that a legislative draft proposal in the works to end the problem of unfit elderly motorists getting behind the wheel.

Charalambous, who was asked questions about the recent road death in which a woman of 69 was run down by a 90-year-old motorist on the Astromeritis-Nicosia motorway, said plans were in the pipeline to lay down stricter guidelines for elderly drivers.

“The Road Safety Council is expected to submit a draft proposal which would call for all drivers over the age of 75 to obtain a doctor’s certificate every year to establish if they are fit enough to get behind the wheel,” said Charalambous.

The Road Safety Unit is responsible for handling all matters in the field of road safety which are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works

“We will all grow old one day and there will come a time when we can no longer get behind the wheel. We all have to accept that. But it is also important for the relatives and loved ones of these elderly drivers to act. They too have a responsibility to persuade them to give up driving.”

Saturday night’s incident – in which Raisa Resetco was knocked down by the car being driven by a 90-year-old motorist – led to the arrest of the pensioner. He has also been charged.

“The driver in question had told investigators that he never saw the victim step out in front of his car. The lighting can also not be an excuse. On that particular motorway, the road may not be lit everywhere but the car lights are adequate for safe driving.”

Continue reading Plans underway to regulate elderly drivers – InCyprus

Satellite imagery exonerates motorist in court

Satellite imagery – that was used during a legal proceeding – has exonerated a motorist from speeding and dangerous driving charges at a Nicosia court.

According to state prosecutors, the motorist had been clocked driving at 95km/h in a 50km area along Archbishop Makarios III Avenue in the early hours of June 2, 2013.

When he was waved down to stop, police claim that he instead continued on his way, switching lanes and entering the lane for oncoming traffic which were waiting at traffic lights for the light to change to green. Undeterred, he continued to pass them and drove through the traffic lights – which were red at the time – before finally making his escape.

A police officer had testified that he first noticed the car at 300m and clocked his speed at a distance of 271m. Following standard procedure, the speed of the vehicle was recorded by radar in a straight line from the position of the officer in relation to the position of the car.

The defence attorney, Yiannis Nearchou, produced satellite images of archbishop Makarios III Avenue and showed that the policeman’s statement were impossible as a straight line from his position at 271m, either at the side of the road or up to 2,5m into the road, from the position of the car would have placed it in the opposite lane.

At 300m, the car would have been on the pavement on the opposite side of the road.

Judge Pavlos Kyriakides went on to find the defendant not guilty saying that he could not safely accept that the policeman’s testimony as being reliable.

Pedestrian killed on Astromeritis – Troodos road

A Moldovan permanent resident of Cyprus has died after being hit by a car as she was trying to cross the Astromeritis to Troodos road on Saturday night.

According to the police, the accident happened at around 9pm on Saturday as 69-year-old Raisa Resetco was attempting to cross the street.

The police said the car was driven by a 90-year-old man whose wife was also travelling in the car. Resetco was rushed to Nicosia General Hospital where doctors pronounced her dead.

The car’s driver was tested for alcohol consumption and was found with no traces in his blood. He was taken into custody as the exact circumstances of the accident are investigated.

Cyprus second in Europe for drink driving – InCyprus

Alcohol-road-accidents

Motorists in Cyprus have come second in Europe when it comes to being caught driving under the influence of alcohol, a new EU study has found.

According to a recent study by Road Safety Performance Index (PIN,) 36.6% of the motorists checked by police on the island were found to be over the limit between 2010 and 2015. The same figures show that Cyprus came in second behind the UK in DUI offences.

The report also found that there had been an increase in the number of drivers in Cyprus found to be speeding in the last five years although the installation of speed cameras could have also attributed to the rise in those figures.

There is better news when it comes to wearing seatbelts with Cyprus showing a highly significant 49% decrease in the number of drivers caught not wearing theirs between 2010 and 2015.

There is also good news when it comes to the use of mobile phones while driving with the number of people being caught offending dropping by 56% between 2010 and 2015. The report also noted that using a mobile phone while driving had been found to affect driving performances just as much as having blood alcohol levels of 80mg/ml.

On a Europe-wide level, the report said that speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or while distracted, and not wearing a seat belt continue to be the main factors in causing traffic accidents.

Speeding in particular is said to be attributed to one third of road deaths and a significant factor in other accidents with non-fatal consequences.

DIU driving is held accountable for one quarter of road deaths in the EU with the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) estimates that some 900 lives would have been saved every year, if 99% of drivers and their passengers worse seat belts. This, ETSC, suggests could be achieved in seat belt reminders in cars applied to all the seats being used, not just the drivers.