All posts by CyprusDriving

Articulated lorries to be banned from the roads on Sundays – Cyprus Mail

In a bid to alleviate traffic during the summer, police on Friday banned articulated lorries from using motorways and other networks between certain times the next three Sundays of the month.

According to a statement, on July 12, 19, and 26, between 9am and 1pm and 4pm and 8pm, articulated lorries would be banned from using motorways as well as the Nicosia -Troodos, Limassol-Platres-Troodos, and Paphos-Polis roads.

Recently, because of the large number of cars on the network and two crashes, thousands of motorists were stuck on the highway for hours.

In addition, police would be stepping up its patrols during the weekend and carry out checks with special emphasis on offences considered the main causes of fatal accidents.

On Sundays, police will also issue frequent announcements regarding the state of the roads.

Source: Articulated lorries to be banned from the roads on Sundays – Cyprus Mail

Car scrappage scheme postponed for 2020 – Cyprus Mail

The government on Thursday announced that the car scrappage scheme announced earlier this year was being cancelled, citing the economic impact of the coronavirus on the state budget.

The announcement follows a briefing by the finance ministry according to which the release of the budget concerning the car scrappage scheme and the promotion of electric vehicles is not foreseen within 2020.

The scheme, which was to issue grants to those who scrap their old cars to buy new ones, or new electric ones, was postponed last May and was to be reassessed at a later stage based on the revised budget for 2020.

Since developments in the economy due to the coronavirus pandemic are ongoing, an official announcement said, “the scheme in question is cancelled.”

Source: Car scrappage scheme postponed for 2020 – Cyprus Mail

Police urge motorcyclists to wear helmets – Cyprus Mail

Paphos police on Sunday appealed to motorbike users to wear helmets for their own safety.

Speaking after the death of a motorcyclist in Paphos early on Sunday morning, CID Paphos spokesman Michalis Ioannou said “we are making for one more time an appeal to motorcyclists to wear a helmet”.

Shortly before 5am on Sunday Evagoras Demetriou, 24, from Ayia Marina was driving home after a night out on the main road from Polis to his village when he lost control of the bike, which overturned leaving him on the pavement.

He was taken to Paphos general hospital where doctors confirmed his death.

Source: Police urge motorcyclists to wear helmets – Cyprus Mail

Driver arrested after refusing to stop, ramming police car – Cyprus Mail

Police arrested a 30-year-old man after he fled Bases police and attempted to evade state authorities in Limassol first thing on Saturday morning.

According to police, the 30-year-old, who had two passengers (18 and 16) in his car, failed to stop when signalled to do so by bases authorities. Instead, police said, he accelerated and intentionally hit a bases police car with two officers inside.

He then accelerated again and fled the scene, while police chased his vehicle and called for aid from the Republic of Cyprus authorities.

Upon entering the Republic of Cyprus areas in the Ypsonas area, police attempted to stop his vehicle again.

The 30-year-old refused and attempting to flee, he drove onto the opposite side of the road, where eventually he cashed into a 22-year-old’s car and one more police vehicle with two officers inside. He then hit into the same bases’ police car that was chasing him, a little further down the road, police said.

After hitting the vehicles, the 30-year-old’s car climbed onto the pavement, and then hit a tree, where it stopped.

All the drivers, the 22-year-old, the 30-year-old and his two passengers, and four officers in the police cars were injured and were taken to hospital.

Doctors determined the drivers were all lightly injured in the crashes, with the most serious injury being that of the 30-year-old, who fractured his hand.

All were discharged after receiving first aid, and the 30-year-old was arrested for a variety of traffic violations.

He refused to take an alcotest and narcotest.

Source: Driver arrested after refusing to stop, ramming police car – 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