Category Archives: Press

Vehicle registrations drop by 10% in the first half of 2019 – Cyprus Mail

Vehicle registrations dropped by 10 per cent in the first six months of 2019, compared with the respective period of 2018, the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat) has said.

In the period of January – June of 2019 total vehicle registrations declined to 23,449 compared with 26,059 in the respective period of last year.

New cars recorded the highest decrease with an annual 11.2 per cent dropping to 8,887 in the first six months of 2019, compared to 10,005 in January – June 2018, while used vehicle registrations dropped by 9.3 per cent to 14,562 compared with 16,054 in the respective period of 2018.

Registration of saloon cars dropped by 11.7 per cent to 19,102 compared with 21,642 in the period of January – June of 2018.

According to Cystat, goods conveyance vehicles increased by 2.6 per cent to 2,680 in January-June 2019, compared with 2,613 in January-June 2018. Light goods vehicles increased by 3.3 per cent to 2,306, heavy goods vehicles decreased by 2.2 per cent to 273 and road tractors (units of trailers) decreased by 1 per cent to 101.

Scooters registrations increased to 165 in January-June 2019, compared to 149 in January-June 2018.

Motorcycles (with engines over 50 cubic centimetres) sales dropped by 8.6 per cent to 1,189 in the first six months of 2019, compared with 1,301 in the corresponding period of 2018, Cystat added.

Source: Vehicle registrations drop by 10% in the first half of 2019 – Cyprus Mail

Full traffic-cam system by 2022, mobile units online next year, minister says – Cyprus Mail

Cyprus will have mobile traffic cameras in place by next year and a full system up and running by 2022, Transport Minister Vassiliki Anastasiadou said on Sunday.

The issue has been going on since 2006.

Anastasiadou said the bidding process for the €35m system would last three months, which will be followed by an evaluation and the awarding of the contract, and “it is hoped by 2020 to at least have the mobile cameras” the minister said.

She said it would positively contribute to road safety. “Where this system has been implemented it has shown that accidents have been reduced dramatically but also the number of deaths from accidents,” she added.

By 2022, the minister said 90 fixed cameras would be in place at accident black spots, and 20 mobile units would also be in use.

After years of delays, the latest was said to be due to the ministry decided to choose a more sophisticated system, which can photograph vehicles from the front and back.

As well as recording speed, they can also check for other violations such as not wearing a seatbelt, talking on the phone while driving, driving through a red light and crossing the white line at the traffic lights.

The request by police in mid-2018 came after the initial plan by the ministry was to install cameras that only photographed vehicles from behind.

The changes were to delay the previous plan by about a year as the tender process will now need to account for the new, more sophisticated cameras.

In late July 2018, the ministry’s initial plan was to have the tender process completed and the first cameras installed by the first quarter of 2019.

A traffic-cams network was set up in 2006 but was quickly discarded. The cameras had numerous problems, including failure to store photographs, and extensive bureaucracy that in some cases resulted in fining a person twice for the same violation while letting others go unpunished.

The cameras were taken down in 2007 and in 2008 it was announced that new cameras would be put up by 2010. In 2011 the Tender Review Board challenged the specifications outlined in the process and cancelled the government’s plan for the fifth time. Failing to find a way of effectively setting up the system, the government decided to outsource the venture to a private firm.

The ministry of finance has decided to fund the latest attempt using a private company and will do so in one-year instalments over five years. The company that is chosen will install the cameras and be responsible for their functionality over those five years.

Source: Full traffic-cam system by 2022, mobile units online next year, minister says – Cyprus Mail

New bills for tougher traffic penalties delayed again – Cyprus Mail

The bundle of seven new bills on implementing tougher traffic penalties is unlikely to be voted through by parliament before summer recess but more likely in the following autumn, it emerged on Friday.

The draft legislation was submitted to parliament in March but the European Parliament elections and change in leadership of the justice ministry has delayed the discussion of the bills in the House transport committee, which convened on Friday.

Included in the bills is an increase in the fines for speeding from €1 per kilometre to €5 while using a phone while driving will fetch a €300 fine instead of the current €85.

Failure to wear a seatbelt will cost €400, also up from €85.

Not wearing crash helmets on motorcycles, running red lights, and parking on pedestrian crossings and spaces reserved for handicapped drivers will cost €200 from €85. 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.

MPs do not unanimously agree on the fines and parties may try put forward amendments which is likely to mean the bills won’t be voted through in parliament before recess later this month.

Source: New bills for tougher traffic penalties delayed again – Cyprus Mail

‘NO MORE HIDING BEHIND BUSHES’ FOR TRAFFIC POLICE

Traffic police will no longer hide behind bushes to catch offending drivers, in line with instructions from their new head, Phileleftheros reported on Tuesday.

It said that Yiannis Georgiou, the new chief of the traffic unit at police headquarter had told a meeting with district traffic police heads that the presence of traffic police on the roads should be ‘evident’, with no officers hiding behind trees and bushes.

Drivers should be aware of the presence of police officers on the roads and know that they could be subject to checks at any time, he said.

Traffic heads were also asked to focus on black spots and on stretches where drivers tend to speed. Traffic police officers will no longer stand at spots where the speed limit suddenly changes so as to ‘trap’ drivers but instead some 500 metres away from where the limit changes, Phileleftheros added.

Instructions were also given to focus on the secondary road network, while traffic police have been told not to pursue young motorists found to be breaking traffic regulations through the streets, but instead to take down their registration numbers and seek them out later.

TISPOL President promotes #ProjectEDWARD at Cyprus Road Safety Conference

TISPOL President Volker Orben spoke at a road safety conference in Cyprus, on Friday 28 June, organised by the delegation of the European Commission in Cyprus and the Cyprus Police, at the House of the European Union, in Nicosia.

Volker spoke about the mission of TISPOL, which is responsible for the coordination of activities at a European level, for the effective and efficient enforcement of traffic legislation as well as the implementation of road policing, a fundamental model for the prevention of criminality on the roads, which many European countries – including the Cyprus Police – adopted during the current decade.  

He highlighted the impact Project Edward can have on casualty reduction and awareness raising – while also stressing the utmost importance of enforcement in the sector of the respect of traffic legislation and the prevention of road deaths and serious injuries. In this respect, he presented the operational results of TISPOL.He stressed that TISPOL appreciates the fact that the European Commission established in 2018 a new Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety to halve road deaths by 2030 and he indicated the importance of the joint cross-border road traffic enforcement operations organized in cooperation between police bodies.

He explained that the target set by the European Commission of a 50 per cent reduction in road deaths and serious injuries by 2030 is an important commitment of TISPOL and a key issue, indicating that in the frame of their daily duties the members of TISPOL are called to exchange information and best practice on a constant basis, bearing in mind the Valetta Declaration. He thanked the Cyprus Police for their contribution in the road safety campaigns, which include enforcement and publicity of the actions undertaken, especially for speeding, drink and drug driving, distraction and the non-use of seat belts.

Motorcyclist arrested after hitting policeman, ambulance driver – Cyprus Mail

Police on Thursday afternoon arrested a biker who attacked a police officer and an ambulance driver on the Nicosia-Larnaca motorway.

Around 4.25pm, while the 36-year-old man was riding his motorbike near Koshi, a 35-year-old woman who was a passenger on the bike fell down and hit the asphalt.

The man stopped to help her while at the same time a police patrol car carrying out routine checks nearby also moved towards them to help.

As soon as the police car arrived, the 36-year-old allegedly started shouting at the officers and hit the bonnet of the car, damaging the vehicle.

He is said to have repeatedly punched an officer on his head.

A few minutes later, when an ambulance arrived, the biker hit the 51-year-old ambulance driver with his helmet.

The ambulance transferred the woman to Larnaca hospital, from where she was taken to Nicosia general hospital and treated for burns.

The police officer and the ambulance driver were treated for head injuries.

The 36-year-old man was arrested. Both he and his passenger were wearing helmets.

Source: Motorcyclist arrested after hitting policeman, ambulance driver – Cyprus Mail

“Bike SAFE” motorcycle training program

Motorcyclists are trained by members of the Police

The risks that motorcyclists face in the road network and the ways in which they can predict and cope with them were the subject of a training program that was held yesterday 16/6/2019) at the Police Headquarters Department of Traffic Police. 

The program was attended by 15 civilian motorcyclists, who were briefed by trained members of the Special Motorcycle Squadron and the Police Driving School on the proper use of motorcycles on the road network, but also on how to prevent and deal with various dangers that lie ahead during driving. The training contained both theoretical information of the participants and practical training.

The “Bike Safe” training program is part of the general framework of the Police’s actions to inform and raise awareness of road safety and the prevention of traffic accidents. 

16/06/2019 08:58:00

Μοτοσικλετιστές εκπαιδεύονται από μέλη της Αστυνομίας

Οι κίνδυνοι που διατρέχουν στο οδικό δίκτυο οι μοτοσικλετιστές και οι τρόποι με τους οποίους οι ίδιοι μπορούν να τους προβλέψουν και να τους αντιμετωπίσουν, ήταν το αντικείμενο προγράμματος εκπαίδευσης, που πραγματοποιήθηκε χθες στο Τμήμα Τροχαίας Αρχηγείου Αστυνομίας. 

Το πρόγραμμα παρακολούθησαν 15 πολίτες μοτοσικλετιστές, οι οποίοι ενημερώθηκαν από εκπαιδευμένα μέλη του Ειδικού Ουλαμού Μοτοσικλετιστών και της Σχολής Οδηγών της Αστυνομίας, για την ορθή χρήση των μοτοσικλετών στο οδικό δίκτυο, αλλά και για το πώς μπορούν να προλαμβάνουν και να αντιμετωπίζουν διάφορους κινδύνους, που ελλοχεύουν κατά την οδήγηση. Η εκπαίδευση περιείχε τόσο θεωρητική ενημέρωση των συμμετεχόντων, όσο και πρακτική εξάσκηση.

Το εκπαιδευτικό πρόγραμμα «Bike Safe», εντάσσεται στο γενικότερο πλαίσιο των δράσεων της Αστυνομίας, για ενημέρωση και ευαισθητοποίηση του κοινού σχετικά με την οδική ασφάλεια και την πρόληψη των τροχαίων συγκρούσεων. 

Wear helmets, police tell motorcyclists after three accidents overnight – Cyprus Mail

Police on Sunday appealed to motorcyclists and moped drivers to take measures to protect themselves in case of an accident.

After three accidents overnight between Saturday and Sunday involving motorcyclists, one of whom is in critical condition and at least one of whom was not wearing a helmet, Limassol police traffic officer Michalis Michael called on motorcyclists to wear the appropriate gear, CNA reported.

Only on Tuesday, a report by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) highlighted the dangers to motorcyclists in Cyprus.

Although Cyprus didn’t rank high in terms of pedestrian and cyclist deaths on city streets, a high level of traffic law violations leads in particular to the deaths of drivers of PTWs (powered two-wheelers). Motorbike and moped riders account for 31 per cent of all fatalities in urban areas.

“Mopeds are widely used on urban roads by young and inexperienced people who are mostly students or delivery service providers. Most of the young moped users ride with a learners’ licence and they lack proper training,” the report said. It also said the use of safety helmets was not as widespread as desired and often when helmets were used, they were not properly strapped. It added that a culture of respect for PTW riders was lacking among other vehicle drivers.

“Notwithstanding the above, an indepth study is required to provide evidence for the actual reasons for the large number of PTW deaths in Cyprus,” the report added, quoting George Morfakis, a Cypriot road safety expert.

Michael said police planned to increase their weekly road safety campaigns to three weeks.

“The weekly campaigns will last for three weeks,” he told CNA. “The first week will be on enlightenment and prevention issues and advice on legislation in an effort to raise public awareness for accident prevention and repression. Beyond that, the remaining weeks will be targeted to checks on motorcyclists and mopeds so as to limit as far as possible the number of deaths.”

Source: Wear helmets, police tell motorcyclists after three accidents overnight – Cyprus Mail

Hands-free phones ‘just as distracting as hand-held’

Hands-free phone chats at the wheel are as risky as driving while holding your mobile and should be banned, expert warns

MPs were told hands-free phone conversations are no less dangerous while driving. Experts warn that using a hands-free kit is as risky – if not more so – than driving at the UK’s legal alcohol limit.

A hands-free phone conversation while driving is just as dangerous as chatting while holding your phone, MPs were told yesterday.

Experts also said using a hands-free kit is as risky – if not more so – than driving at the legal alcohol limit.

In March 2017, the Government doubled the punishment for using a hand-held phone at the wheel to six penalty points and a £200 fine.

But Dr Shaun Helman, of the Transport Research Laboratory, said it should be extended to the use of hands-free devices.

He told the Commons transport committee that hands-free conversations are just as distracting.

This was echoed by Open University’s Dr Gemma Briggs, who said a conversation with a passenger is less dangerous than talking to someone on a hands-free device.

She explained: ‘This is because you create mental images of where they are, what they’re discussing, what they’re up to, and the mental resources required to create those mental images are also required for accurate perception of that driving situation.’

Source: Hands-free phones ‘just as distracting as hand-held’