Category Archives: Press

New setback for traffic cams system | 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.

Source: New setback for traffic cams system | Cyprus Mail

Return of traffic cameras moving closer | Cyprus Mail

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.

Source: Return of traffic cameras moving closer | Cyprus Mail

Police to start campaign on seatbelt use on Monday | Cyprus Mail

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.

Source: Police to start campaign on seatbelt use on Monday | Cyprus Mail

Paphos clamping down on illegal parking

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.

Requests to cancel extrajudicial traffic fines will be rejected, AG’s office says | Cyprus Mail

The legal service said on Wednesday that all requests to cancel out extrajudicial traffic fines which became steeper and tougher on October 1, will not be accepted if such requests are outside the framework of the relevant legislation.

“Therefore, all extrajudicial fines should either be paid within the time limit provided by law or, if the complainant so wishes, be challenged before the court, whenever criminal proceedings are instituted for non-payment,” the legal service said in an announcement.

“In exceptional cases, if the complainants thinks that there is an obvious formal error in the issuance of the extrajudicial fine, they can also submit their complaint to the authorities, who, after evaluating it, will refer to the Attorney-general.

The announcement, however, specified that the submission of a request to the competent authorities does not cancel the deadline provided by the legislation for the payment of the fine.

Source: Requests to cancel extrajudicial traffic fines will be rejected, AG’s office says | Cyprus Mail

Driver fined €1,000 for speeding and not having car tax | Cyprus Mail

A 23-year-old man was fined €1,000 and had his licence suspended after he was found speeding during early morning hours on Wednesday.

Limassol district court fined the motorist €900 for speeding and an additional €100 for driving without car tax.

He also his driving licence suspended for a month.

Police arrested the driver a few minutes after midnight on Tuesday on Amathountas Avenue in Limassol. He was driving at 125 km/h on a street with a limit of 50 km/h.

Source: Driver fined €1,000 for speeding and not having car tax | Cyprus Mail

Slight decrease in traffic fines after charges go up | Cyprus Mail

Police booked 1,792 drivers for traffic offences during the first weekend since fines were increased, head of Nicosia traffic police Yiannakis Georgiou told the Cyprus Mail.

“There was a slight decrease in bookings, and we hope it continues,” Georgiou said.

The fines were issued between 6am on Saturday to midnight on Sunday, with 602 violations reported on the highways.

Since the increase on fines on Thursday, police issued a total of 2,363 fines, out of which 2,129 concerned violations that belonged to the revised fines.

“The main traffic violation was speed,” said Georgiou, with 1,054 of the fines issued in the last four days concerned with it.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility,” police said in a written announcement on Monday, and asked for the “compliance of all drivers to the traffic code”.

Police said they fined 79 people driving under the influence of alcohol since Thursday, 75 using mobile phones while driving, 87 not wearing a seat belt and 11 motorcyclists who did not wear a helmet. Another 28 drivers were booked for running the red light.

A total of 234 fines were issued against illegal parking, of which 104 concerned illegal parking on sidewalks and 23 concerned illegal parking in disability spaces.

Concerning lack of documents, police booked 329 drivers who did not have a valid road tax, 111 for driving vehicles without road tax and another 24 for driving without insurance. Police also fined 16 drivers for driving vehicles declared immobilised, while five drivers were fined who did not have a valid driving license.

According to the new fine increases, drivers failing to wear a seat belt will be fined €150 and €300 in case of a second offence within three years.

The fine for not wearing a helmet rose from €85 to €200 and then €300 for a second violation.

Using a mobile phone while at the wheel increased to €150, instead of the previous €85, with the fine potentially rising to €300 in case of a second violation within three years.

The fine for parking in a spot reserved for the disabled will rise from €85 to €300, as will the one for drivers who run a red light.

All the revised penalties have been posted on the website www.roadsafetycyprus.gov.cy.

Source: Slight decrease in traffic fines after charges go up | Cyprus Mail

New traffic fines fail to intimidate drivers, no fall in violations in first 24 hours | Cyprus Mail

More than 600 traffic offences were recorded in the first 24 hours after heftier fines came into force on Thursday, the head of Nicosia traffic police, Yiannakis Georgiou told the Cyprus Mail.

On Thursday, the first day the new penalties came into effect, there were 634 violations islandwide, Georgiou said on Friday.

“This means that drivers weren’t affected by the heavier fines. They just don’t care,” he said.

According to the traffic police head, the number of violations recorded on Thursday was around the usual number. Police usually book 500-700 drivers for traffic violations daily.

“The public must realise that things are serious and start respecting the traffic law and think about themselves and stop putting the life of others in danger,” Georgiou added.

Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis said on Friday that the new fines would bring results after a reasonable amount of time, if not immediately.

She also said that high penalties aim at reducing the number of road deaths and injuries and were not an end in themselves.

“We want to promote the cultivation of traffic awareness from a young age and unfortunately the punishments are part of the whole effort, although not an end in itself,” she said after a meeting with Cyprus worker’s confederation SEK.

In 2019, there were 48 deaths from fatal traffic accidents, while the country recorded 67 deaths per million inhabitants, according to recent data from Eurostat. This is higher than the EU average of 51 deaths per million.

As of Thursday, drivers failing to wear a seat belt will have to pay a €150 fine and €300 in case of a second offence within three years.

The fine for not wearing a helmet rises from the current €85 to €200 and then €300 for a second violation.

Using a mobile phone while at the wheel will now cost drivers €150, instead of the current €85, with the fine potentially rising to €300 in case of a second violation within three years.

The fine for parking in a spot reserved for the disabled will rise from €85 to €300, as will the one for drivers who run a red light.

All the revised penalties have been posted on the website www.roadsafetycyprus.gov.cy.

Source: New traffic fines fail to intimidate drivers, no fall in violations in first 24 hours | Cyprus Mail

Hefty new fines from Thursday for driving violations | Cyprus Mail

From Thursday, fines for motorcyclists not wearing a crash helmet will more than double to €200, while those not wearing a seat belt will have to fork out €150.

The increased fines are part of a raft of tough new measures for traffic violations which cover speeding, drink-driving, reckless driving, failing to wear a helmet or a seat belt, and cell phone use while driving.

The changes are part of an ongoing effort aimed at limiting Cyprus’ high number of road deaths and serious injuries. At 67 deaths per 1 million inhabitants, the island has more road deaths per one million inhabitants than the EU average of 51.

“We hope that the increased penalties for traffic violations will help improve the safety on our roads and, at the same time, we expect full cooperation from drivers,” a police statement released on Tuesday said.

“Only this way can we drastically reduce road accidents and the consequent loss of lives on our roads.”

For some violations, the new penalties are extremely severe. For example, drivers failing to wear a seat belt will have to pay a €150 fine, which will be raised to €300 if there is a second offence within three years.

The fine for not wearing a helmet will rise from the current €85 to €200 and then €300 for a second violation.

Using a mobile phone while at the wheel will now cost drivers €150, instead of the current €85, with the fine potentially rising to €300 in case of a second violation within three years.

The fine for parking in a spot reserved for the disabled will rise from €85 to €300, as will the one for drivers who run a red light.

All the revised sentences have been posted on the website www.roadsafetycyprus.gov.cy.

Source: Hefty new fines from Thursday for driving violations | Cyprus Mail