Category Archives: Press

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

New road fatality brings total to 52 this year – Cyprus Mail

Yet another road fatality occurred on Friday when a 45-year-old man died after the car he was driving collided head-on with another vehicle in Nisou.

On board the 45-year-old’s car was the man’s child, who sustained a leg injury.

The female driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident was injured slightly, and treated at Nicosia general hospital.

The latest deadly road accident brings the number of fatalities so far this year to 52.

Traffic police officer Stelios Panagides urged the public to drive carefully.

“Unfortunately these days some family will have lost a loved one. The blood doesn’t stop flowing on the tarmac.”

 

Source: New road fatality brings total to 52 this year – Cyprus Mail

Over 850 drivers booked for traffic offences over the holiday – Cyprus Mail

Eleven people were booked for driving under the influence of drugs over the holiday period.

In just four days there were 854 bookings for drunk driving, speeding, using a mobile phone and not wearing a seat belt. Among the offences, 11 were drug-related.

Head of traffic police Yiannis Georgiou called the number “worrying” and noted how dangerous it was to drive while intoxicated in any form.

“When you are under the influence of drugs you are a certain road danger,” he said.

“In line with these circumstances the force will decide on more drastic measures to reduce road deaths,” the traffic police chief added on Friday.

This year recorded the highest number of road deaths in two years with a toll of 51.

A bill to increase the fines related to traffic offences is expected to go to the plenum in January and be implemented by February.

Also, a total of 110 traffic cameras will be installed on the roads next year.

The new bill foresees penalty rises for hit and runs, running a red light, parking on pavements and taking parking spots reserved for disabled people in addition to speeding and drink driving.

Police will also introduce vehicle seizures, lower alcohol levels for drivers who had their licence suspended after completing 12 penalty points and enable courts to issue driving bans pending an investigation.

 

Source: Over 850 drivers booked for traffic offences over the holiday – Cyprus Mail

New laws in sight after bad year on roads – Cyprus Mail

A fatal traffic accident earlier this week pushed the number of deaths on the roads to the highest it’s been in two years, but the police traffic chief on Tuesday said it was hoped things would finally improve with the implementation of stiffer penalties in February.

“We know there is a very serious problem regarding fatal accidents on our country’s roads,” Chief of Traffic Police Yiannis Georgiou told the Cyprus Mail. Last year 49 people died on the roads and in 2017, the toll was 53.

The death toll on the roads became the highest in the last two years when 21-year-old Panayiotis Panayiotou became the 51st victim in 2019 on Sunday, taking Cyprus further, rather than nearer it’s target under the EU of less than 30 deaths by 2020.

And with the festive period always a peak time for accidents there are fears this year’s final number will climb in the last days of the year. The inclement weather is not helping Georgiou said.

“The reasons behind the coming days’ possible road accidents might be linked to the bad weather that is affecting Cyprus, rather than drunk driving or speeding.

“The recent storms are another reason why motorists should pay even more attention on the road.”

Despite months of delays, Georgiou said the bill outlining stiffer penalties for road offences, first submitted in March 2019, “should go to the plenum in January and by February the new laws will be implemented and effective on Cyprus’ roads.”

Penalties will be raised for hit and runs, running a red light, parking on pavements and taking parking spots reserved for disabled people in addition to speeding and drink driving.

Police will also introduce vehicle seizures, lower alcohol levels for drivers who had their licence suspended after completing 12 penalty points and enable courts to issue driving bans pending an investigation.

The bill will update penalties relating to speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving without a licence, failure to wear a seatbelt or crash helmet, and using a phone while driving.

Under the new laws, offenders face up to three months in jail or a fine up to €1,500 for driving over the limit with penalties rising according to the alcohol levels.

Reckless driving that ends up causing bodily harm will be punishable with up to three years in jail and or a fine of up to €10,000, whereas anyone involved in a hit and run with a fatality faces up to 10 years in jail and or up to €30,000.

Fines for speeding will increase from €1 per km to €5 and using a phone while driving will fetch a €300 fine instead of the current €85.

Also, a total of 110 traffic cameras will also be installed on the roads by 2020.

“We are running campaigns every month, warning motorists of the dangers of driving under the influence, of speeding and of talking on their phones while at the wheel.

“We are taking these issues very seriously. People need to understand that their lives are at stake while driving,” Georgiou said.

Meanwhile, the Cyprus Youth Council (CYC) has launched a campaign under the slogan #TakeCare, which hopes to spread awareness about road safety.

The main idea behind the campaign is that youth should not just receive the campaign’s message but transmit it as well.

“We are cooperating with police officers and will run a workshop in Paralimni in January 2020 and we are trying to set one up in Larnaca too,” the initiative’s organiser Stelios Marathovouniotis said.

He said though “the problem in Cyprus is a cultural one.”

“Young people speed on the roads to show off their cars. This needs to change, it’s as important as the parliament bills.

“That’s why we want young people to be at the helm of our campaign, we think they will deliver a stronger message.”

Source: New laws in sight after bad year on roads – Cyprus Mail

Transport ministry to introduce customer satisfaction surveys – Cyprus Mail

There will be annual customer satisfaction surveys in all departments of the transport ministry to identify weaknesses, evaluate them and find solutions, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos announced on Monday.

In a statement, the ministry said serving people is a priority.

“Our goal is through every research to take the right and immediate measures so that we can be sure they have had the result we wanted and have provided the right solutions to the problems which have surfaced,” Karousos said.

The minister was speaking at the presentation of the results of a customer survey of the Cyprus post office services undertaken by the University of Cyprus.

Source: Transport ministry to introduce customer satisfaction surveys – Cyprus Mail

Police fire shots during car chase, arrest woman – Cyprus Mail

Police fired warning shots early on Saturday during a car chase that started in Limassol and ended in Paphos, eventually ending with the arrest of a 40-year-old woman.

Police said the woman was detained at around 1am in connection with possession of drugs and causing a number of traffic collisions.

The woman, who was known to police, had caused several collisions in Limassol before police gave chase, firing shots in the process in a bid to stop her.

She was eventually intercepted at the roundabout near Paphos hospital after she crashed into a patrol car and other vehicles.

A subsequent search of her car found an undisclosed quantity of drugs.

 

Source: Police fire shots during car chase, arrest woman – Cyprus Mail

General perception of police is positive – Cyprus Mail

OVERALL Cypriots are borderline satisfied with the police despite there being a great deal of room for improvement, a survey has shown.

The survey, polling about 1,000 people across the island, was carried out by the University of Nicosia in association with IMR.

Most respondents (78 per cent) felt very or quite safe, with a small minority said they felt not so safe or unsafe (16 per cent and 6 per cent respectively).

Just under 30 per cent stated they face no safety issue where they live. Problems that did cause people to feel unsafe included thefts, burglaries, noise and dangerous driving.

About 4 to 6 per cent of the public are concerned about drug trafficking, robberies and malicious damage to property.

Just 1 in 100 said they were worried about the most serious forms of crime, such as murder.

Assessing the level of policing, 27 per cent of respondents said it was adequate, another 43 per said found it less than adequate, and 30 per cent entirely inadequate.

General perceptions of the police were relatively good, with the public giving the force an average rating of 2.86 – 5 being the highest possible score.

The police force was also the second highest-rated state institution, coming in just behind the courts, which scored 2.90 out of 5.
Asked whether the police as a force was improving, 47 per cent of those surveyed stated it has improved somewhat or a great deal, 43 per cent felt there has been no change, and 8 per cent thought that it has got worse.

According to the public, the top priorities for the police ought to be: fighting drugs; serious crime (murder, violence); dealing with burglaries, arson; and road safety.

The survey also found that almost one in four people had come into contact with the police in one way or another over the past 12 months.

Most of those who had some business with the police did so by filing a formal complaint (52 per cent), providing a tip (17 per cent), lodging a grievance (13 per cent), seeking information (7 per cent), or to pay a fine (7 per cent).

The majority (67 per cent) of those contacting the police did so by reaching out to a police station.

Of the people who contacted the police, 47 per said they were very or quite satisfied with the experience, 21 per cent not that satisfied, 32 per cent not satisfied at all.

 

Source: General perception of police is positive – Cyprus Mail

New bill seeks to regulate ambulance providers – Cyprus Mail

A bill regulating the profession of ambulance drivers and rescuers was approved on Wednesday by cabinet.

The bill will now be sent to parliament for discussion and vote.

The aim is to regulate the profession of ambulance drivers and rescuers, as well as the registration of ambulances.

The proposed bill provides for establishing a licensing system for ambulance service providers and ambulances and a mechanism for their control.

It also calls for the establishment of minimum professional qualifications for the staff who will manage and staff the ambulances and setting up the National Emergency Call Centre.

The bill also provides for setting the criteria for the rescuer’s profession and the establishment of a rescuer registry.

Source: New bill seeks to regulate ambulance providers – Cyprus Mail