All posts by CyprusDriving

680 booked for traffic offences – Cyprus Mail

More than 680 people were booked for traffic violations on Saturday during a police operation in all towns to crack down road offences.

According to the police of over 680 offences, 374 referred to speeding and 28 drunk driving.

One car was confiscated as were six motorbikes, a quad bike and a moped.

Source: 680 booked for traffic offences – Cyprus Mail

Road deaths up 6.1% in Cyprus – Cyprus Mail

Cyprus ranks 18th in the EU in road deaths, according to the 14th annual Road Safety Performance Report published on Wednesday by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

In 2019 there was an increase of 6.1 per cent in road deaths in Cyprus. There were 52 road deaths were recorded, three more than in 2018.

With last year’s increase, Cyprus has fallen one notch, from 17th to 18th place in the EU in deaths per capita.

A 3 per cent decrease was recorded overall in the EU in 2019.

Out of 32 countries monitored by the programme, 16 registered a decrease in road deaths in 2019 compared to 2018.

Luxembourg leads the ranking with a 39 per cent reduction in the number of road deaths between 2018 and 2019.15 It is followed by Sweden with a 32 per cent decrease, Estonia with 22 per cent and Switzerland with 20 per cent.

The number of road deaths increased in 12 countries, while progress stagnated in four. The largest increases were registered in Israel with 17 per cent, Denmark with 14 per cent, Slovenia with 12 per cent, Slovakia with 7 per cent and Lithuania and Cyprus with 6 per cent.

However, the report said annual numbers of deaths in Luxembourg and Malta are particularly small and are, therefore, subject to substantial annual fluctuation. Annual numbers of deaths in Cyprus and Estonia are also relatively small and, therefore, may be subject to considerable annual fluctuation.

This may explain why, though deaths in Cyprus increased, the number of seriously injured in road accidents in the country decreased.

The number of people recorded as seriously injured, based on national definitions, decreased in 18 out of 23 EU member states that collect data. However, in the EU23 collectively the progress in reducing serious road traffic injures remains insignificant since 2010.

Serious injuries recorded in Germany and the Netherlands increased and this has had a significant effect on the EU average as recorded serious injuries in these countries represent 48 per cent of all recorded serious injury data in the EU25.

The number of serious injuries increased by 45 per cent in Malta, by 13 per cent in the Netherlands, 11 per cent the UK and 9 per cent in Germany since 2010. At the other end of the ranking is Greece – it achieved the biggest decrease in the number of recorded serious injuries since 2010 with a 63 per cent reduction, followed by Cyprus with 42 per cent and Belgium with 35 per cent.

“It is now considered impossible to achieve the goal of reducing road deaths by 50 per cent from 2010 to 2020, as a reduction of 34.5 per cent is required this year, compared to 2019,” the report concluded.

“A reduction in road deaths is expected this year, of course, due to the restrictive measures taken to deal with the pandemic of Covid-19, but it is considered unlikely to be so great that it will achieve the goal. But even if that happens, it cannot be considered an achievement.”

 

Source: Road deaths up 6.1% in Cyprus – Cyprus Mail

Teenager caught driving articulated lorry – Cyprus Mail

Police on Monday caught a 15-year-old boy driving an articulated lorry on the motorway with the registered owner of the vehicle sitting in the passenger seat.

Officers of the traffic accident prevention unit stopped the truck at around 9.40am on the Limassol to Nicosia motorway near the exit to Kotsiatis and found a 15-year-old behind the wheel.

The minor had no licence nor insurance.

During checks, the officers determined that the registered owner of the truck was sitting in the passenger seat.

A trailer towed by the truck had no road worthiness certificate after it expired in 2013. The vehicle’s licence had also expired in December last year.

The pair were taken to the police station where they were charged to be summoned at a later date.

Source: Teenager caught driving articulated lorry – Cyprus Mail

MPs set to approve tougher penalties to crack down on traffic offenders

Traffic offenders will need to dig deep into their pockets under long-awaited tougher penalties set to be approved by the House of Representatives by the end of June.

The House Transport Committee has hammered out consensus on the seven bills after amending the initial proposals submitted by the government.

The steep fines for offences such as drunk driving, speeding and failing to wear a seat belt come as authorities finalise a new strategic plan to slash the number of road fatalities in Cyprus by half in the next decade.

The number of road fatalities in Cyprus in recent years has ranged around 50 every year. Police hope tougher penalties and traffic cameras for which tenders have been launched will help stem the bloodshed.

A total of 15 people have already died on the island’s roads so far this year, compared to 11 in the same period last year.

The House Transport Committee has reached consensus on the new fines, although amendments may still be introduced before the seven bills go to the plenary for approval.

As things stand now the new fines are:

  1. For not wearing a seat belt, the fine will rise to €150 and then €300 if there is a second offence within three years.
  2. The fine for not wearing a helmet will rise from the current €85 to €200 and then €300 for a second violation.
  3.  Use of mobile phone while driving will be punished with a fine of €150 (from the current €85). It will rise to €300 in case of a second violation within three years.
  4. A traffic light violation will carry a fine of €300 (now €85).
  5. The fine for parking in a spot reserved for the disabled will rise from €85 to €300.
  6. Parking on a yellow line will rise to €100 from €65.
  7. Overtaking on a pedestrian crossing will rise from €65 to €200.
  8. For speeding: for speeding by 30% above the limit the fine will rise from the current €1 per km to €2; for speeding by 50% above the limit the fine will rise to €3 per km;  for speeding by 70% above the limit the fine will rise to €5 per km;  if the driver is speeding above 75% of the limit, the driver will appear in court which can impose a sentence of up to two years in jail and/or a fine of €6,000
  9. For drunk driving: for alcohol levels from 23mg to 35mg the fine will rise from €100 to €125, from 36mg to 55mg from €200 to €250 and from 56mg to 70mg from €300 to €500.
  10. Driving under the influence of drugs will be punishable with jail or up to three years and/or a fine of €10,000.
  11. If there are more than one offences, for example speeding while under the influence of alcohol, penalties will double and offenders will appear in court (there is no out of court fine) where they will face a sentence of up to four years in jail and/or €15,000 fine.
  12. Reckless driving will be punishable with jail of up to two years and/or €6,000 fine. If under the influence of alcohol, drivers will be banned from driving for two months.
  13. Driving without insurance will carry a fine of €200 and 3-6 points.
  14. Driving without MOT  will carry a fine of €300 for professional drivers and €150 for drivers of private vehicles.
  15. The penalty for causing a fatal traffic accident will rise from up to four to up to 10 years in prison and a fine of €30,000. Abandoning the scene of an accident will carry the same penalty.
  16. An amendment will allow police to confiscate the vehicle of drivers caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

 

Source: MPs set to approve tougher penalties to crack down on traffic offenders

Confusion over drug-testing policies on drivers – Cyprus Mail

The government’s “zero-tolerance” policy on reckless driving has led to widespread confusion over the new measures, particularly in regards to driving under the influence of drugs.

A 33-year-old man who was caught speeding and tested positive for drug use had his licence revoked on Tuesday. Lab results later showed he tested positive for cocaine use.

But wider questions have been asked about accuracy and equal treatment under the new policy.

Many drivers are unclear as to exactly which road violations qualify for a person to have their licence revoked.

To make matters even more confusing, there are two separate categories of losing a licence.

The first is a temporary suspension while their case is examined and the second is an outright revocation of the licence after their case has been studied.

The offender has 14 days to file a complaint.

A common question from the public has been whether testing positive for any drug whatsoever, and any amount will lead to them losing their licence.

“Yes, driving under the influence of drugs and testing positive will lead to at least a suspension of the licence until detailed lab results arrive,” Police Spokesman Christos Andreou replied when asked to clarify on this issue.

The grey area is that a person may have smoked cannabis the night before and still test positive for a narcotest in the morning, hours after consuming the drug.

In this sense, a person who smoked a joint of cannabis and a person who had a heavy night of cocaine use would both be put into the same category – testing positive for drug use.

Asked on this issue, Andreou said that “an initial test cannot tell when a person used the drugs or what drugs exactly, only that they are positive in the test and are under the influence – whether or not they did it the night before.”

He clarified that more detailed lab results which specify the type of drug used may impact the severity of the case against them.

The police have the right to temporarily suspend a person’s licence while they consider a full revocation.

“The least that will happen is a temporary suspension of their driving licence,” Andreou said. “If they are under the influence and are caught speeding or any other violations, then of course the case against is much more serious.”

Some have expressed frustration at an apparent unfairness in the process. A driver may lose their licence for light marijuana use, while a driver three times over the alcohol limit will be fined and may only receive a warning.

Drink driving remains common in Cyprus – in part – due to fairly lax laws, relative cultural acceptance and poor public transportation.

In the UK drivers are subject to harsh penalties for drink driving violations, such as a driving ban for at least one year (3 years if convicted twice in 10 years).

 

Source: Confusion over drug-testing policies on drivers – Cyprus Mail

Minister says licences will be immediately revoked for speeders, drunk drivers – Cyprus Mail

Drivers found to be driving under the influence of drugs, are found to be way over the alcohol limit or exceed by far the speed limit will have their licence taken away immediately, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said on Friday.

He was speaking after a meeting of the road safety council, which he presided over in the presence of Justice Minister Giorgos Savvides.

The transport minister said the measure would be implemented as of Friday. Police said they would discuss the practical implementation of this proposal on Monday.

A police source told the Cyprus Mail that for alcotests, instructions will be given for licences to be revoked immediately in cases where the reading is 120μg and over, while those found with over 70μg when breathalysed will be subject to this measure if they are caught for the same offence again. As regards speeding, the source said whether a licence will be revoked will be assessed for each case.

Karousos, citing the “very worrying data” presented during the meeting on driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs and speeding, said that the council has decided to make use of the powers of the road transport department.

“When it is confirmed they are driving dangerously, their licences will be suspended immediately until their cases are investigated,” Karousos said.

He added that the road transport department has the power to suspend drivers’ licences.

The minister gave as an example the case of the professional driver caught driving with his feet last November.

“His license was cancelled and he was asked to take exams again to be able to obtain a professional driver’s licence,” Karousos said.

The 43-year-old man was called in for questioning by the police last November after posting a video on Facebook of himself driving his truck using only his feet, on the Nicosia-Limassol motorway. He faces two charges relating to engaging in a senseless, dangerous and reckless act and driving without insurance. He is due in court next week.

Karousos said the road transport department, after being informed by the police, will immediately revoke the licence of those found driving recklessly through speeding or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

He explained that if a driver’s narcotest is found positive then his licence will be immediately revoked until his case is referred to a medical council which would look into whether he or she is a regular drugs user or not.

“If someone is found to speed excessively, they will be deemed as dangerous and the road transport department has the power to revoke their licence and it will do so,” the minister said, adding that they will exhibit “zero tolerance”.

Justice Minister Savvides said that this year started tragically since by the end of January five people had died in road accidents, most of them young persons.

He said that seven bills and a regulation on harsher penalties for traffic offences are currently being discussed at the House transport committee and expressed hope they would be tabled to the plenary to vote within February.

Source: Minister says licences will be immediately revoked for speeders, drunk drivers – Cyprus Mail

Police pledge bad driving crackdown after death toll rise – Cyprus Mail

The police on Thursday vowed to crack down on driving violations, from the minor to the more serious, in a bid to stem the tide of road deaths.

At a powwow in Nicosia chaired by police chief Kypros Michaelides, traffic police officials from across the island decided a zero-tolerance policy on traffic infractions, particularly those identified as the leading causes of serious accidents – speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not wearing a seatbelt or a helmet for motorcycles, and speaking on mobile phones while behind the wheel.

Some of the measures include: more frequent checks on more vulnerable categories, such as motorcyclists, young individuals and senior citizens; extra checks and constant policing mainly on the secondary road network; alcohol and drug tests on motorists throughout the day; and intensive policing of accident-prone spots.

Other than enforcement, the police will continue its drive to raise awareness in schools, army camps, as well as in presentations to organisations.

The police will additionally be drafting proposals to make it tougher on people to get a motorcycle licence and on senior citizens upon reaching the age where they have to renew their driving licence.

Police were spurred into action after 2019 saw the highest road death toll in two years. Last year, 52 people were killed in traffic-related incidents.

It is hoped that the anticipated installation of traffic cameras, as well as coming tougher penalties, will help curb the loss of life.

Also on Thursday, traffic police unveiled the latest additions to their fleet – 14 ‘smart’ patrol cars equipped with automatic number-plate recognition and GPS systems.

The police force will soon be acquiring another 10 ‘smart’ patrol cars of the station-wagon variety, to be deployed mostly on the secondary road network.

Source: Police pledge bad driving crackdown after death toll rise – Cyprus Mail

Drivers on phone cause majority of fatal accidents in the north – Cyprus Mail

The main cause of fatal traffic accidents in the north is the use of mobile phones while driving, Turkish Cypriot media reported on Friday.

Traffic police chief Huseyin Kadir Çete said 80 per cent of drivers who caused a fatal accident were using their mobile phones, media reported.

In 2018, there were 24 deaths in the north caused by 22 traffic accidents, while in 2019 until December 23 the number rose to 29 deaths as a result of 23 traffic accidents.

For the same period in the south, the fatal traffic accidents last year rose to 49 while 2019 saw 51 road traffic deaths until December 27.

According to Cete, many drivers are also distracted by putting make up on in the car, and drinking and eating while driving.

Source: Drivers on phone cause majority of fatal accidents in the north – Cyprus Mail