Traffic cameras stumble on collection concerns

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A DRAFT bill prepared by the Electromechanical Services Department for the introduction of 110 traffic cameras to capture speed-limit violations has stumbled on who will manage delivery and payment of speeding tickets, a source has told the Cyprus Mail.

According to the source, the bill has been prepared and forwarded to the Legal Service for review. It calls for the purchase of 90 fixed cameras, as well as 20 mobile ones, that will take pictures of speeders and record the violation.

“This is a measure to catch and punish speeding drivers – no seat-belts, no mobile phone use, they will only capture speeding,” the source said.

But the effort appears to stumble on who will undertake delivering the speeding tickets issued by the cameras, with police wanting as little involvement with the operation of the cameras as possible.

As a result of the police’s reluctance to engage, the bill calls for the operation of the cameras by the contractor that will install them.
Continue reading Traffic cameras stumble on collection concerns

Road Tax Renewal for 2016

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Road Tax renewal will commence on January 7th and will end on Thursday, March 10th Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works announced on today.

Full details of how to apply can be found on this site.

Drive safely and save lives this Christmas

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With the recent increased numbers of drunk-driving incidents and the peak holiday season approaching, road safety has become a pressing topic for local police.

With family feasts and visits to friends on the increase, the Limassol Police Department has implemented several measures to ensure it will be a safe festive period.

“We urge the public to be proactive, drive responsibly and use a designated driver among people who do want to drink alcohol while out on the road,” says Limassol Police Chief Kypros Michaelides in an interview with The Cyprus Weekly.

Orders have been given to the traffic department to focus on alcohol tests and speeding offences and an awareness-raising campaign, supported by various organisations including ‘Reaction’, has been running.

The spots explain traffic codes and regulations and caution members of the public about the dangers of drunk driving.

There is a specific programme put into place by the Limassol Police Department over the holiday period which also includes an increased check on gambling, more mobile patrols throughout town and foot patrols in shopping areas.

Even though there is no information on any threats of terrorism, precautionary measures have also been taken in this area, with armed officers and mobile armed patrols in high-traffic areas.

The already successful neighbourhood watch system is being instructed to be more active and vigilant during the holiday season to prevent burglaries and protect properties and lives. Leaflets with tips and warnings are circulated by its members.

In the new year, 300 more police officers will be employed as agreed by the Ministry of Finance following the retirement of many officers in recent years.

“Meanwhile, the police department aims to do more with less to keep the Limassol district safe,” says the Limassol Chief Police Officer.

In ending his talk with The Cyprus Weekly, Michaelides wanted to extend his wishes for a safe Christmas, asking citizens to obey traffic laws and regulations and respect orders by police officers in order to keep secure.

Cyprus Weekly

Errors causing high road tax gets corrected

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Cyprus motorists have been paying higher road taxes by mistake but that’s about to change following a vote in the House on Thursday cutting rates starting after the middle of 2016.

Parliament passed an amendment unanimously in a move to correct previously jacked up rates on road tax, where two out of five categories had been calculating tax with the wrong factor.

In the category of pickup trucks, the road tax charge will drop by 30%. It is currently being factored by 10 cents per square centimetre but it will drop down to seven next summer.

Also, late payments were being assessed a fee of 10% on the whole amount, instead of the balance amount. Next summer, the 10% late fee will be calculated only on the late balance due.

Another change concerns older cars, registered prior to 24 November 2003, where vehicle onwers had to pay between €700 and €1000. Starting next summer, the maximum fee in this category will be €300.

License plate registration will also be possible now every three months instead of the mandatory six months or one year. This actually would not be a cost reduction for the tax payer, but it would give more options for people on a strict budget.

The final change concerns those who let their car registration remain expired for up to three years. Instead of having their vehicles scrapped from the database, now owners can make payments in twelve equal instalments and get their cars back on the road legally.

The revenue amount lost with this new law is estimated at €2 million compared to last year, but the amount will be made up to a degree by increased prices on license plate registration.

The new road tax rates are effective immediately, however it will take until summer 2016 until the software is updated. Until then, current road tax rates apply.

Cyprus Weeekly

Minister advocates law change for death crashes

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Minister of Justice and Public Order: Of particular importance to amend the Penal Code for causing death due to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or due to excessive speed
11/18/2015

The proposal Law on the Criminal Code for creation of statutory offense of causing death due to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and speeding, which he had put on his tenure as MP and redeposited by the Parliamentary Committee on Legal discussed today the Minister of Justice and Public Order Mr. Ionas Nicolaou, before the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs. Mr. Nicholas stressed that instead of demanding to be cumulative having two root causes driving, recommended the configuration that causes the offense to be fulfilled alternatively where the main cause of the deadly rolling caused either due to excessive speed or due to overuse alcohol or drugs.

Speaking after the debate, Mr. Nicholas said: “I expressed my views on the proposal, which remain the same as when we tabled as a Member. This is extremely important subject. The proposal was drawn up then a result of a tragic automobile accident, when a young person who while he was on the sidewalk, passing driver speeding, and under the influence of alcohol deprived life. Since then, unfortunately, there were other similar incidents, the last of the fatal accident that occurred recently in Limassol, where also guide driving too fast under the influence of alcohol and after drug use, deprived life of a young, of which vehicle was stopped at the traffic lights. In view of these circumstances and the drivers behavior experiences, taking up my duties as Minister, judged as the law proposal changed that, instead of demanding to be cumulative, the existence of two major traffic accidents causing causes, ie the influence of alcohol or drugs and speeding, be configured to the offense be imposed in cases where the main causes there are disjunctive. That is, the punishment for the offense of statutory manslaughter with imprisonment up to 10 years, where it is found that the main cause of the deadly accident was either excessive speed or excessive use of alcohol or drug use. Continue reading Minister advocates law change for death crashes

Forty five people died on the roads so far this year

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So far this year 45 people have died in road  accidents and while drivers continue to speed, measures to reduce the accidents is moving at a snail’s pace, House communication and works chairman Antonis Antoniou said on Thursday

During the session he announced that by the end of the year there would be a call for tender for new traffic camera systems across the country.

Already installed in Grivas Dighenis Avenue in Nicosia, the system has brought the state €1.5 million in income within 15 months through fines compared to installation costs that were €80,000 while streets with traffic cameras have seen 50 per cent fall in accidents, Antoniou added.

DISY MP Andreas Michaelides however said that it doesn’t matter how many measures are taken, if people’s mentality doesn’t change to follow road safety rules then the list of those dying on the street would  continue to remain a nightmare for everyone.

According to him, the three most dangerous types of drivers are youths under the age of 25, foreigners and bikers.

AKEL MP Christakis Giovanis added that in countries with traffic camera systems, the number of road deaths fall by 40 per cent.

Cyprus Mail

Traffic cop faces bribery charges

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AN officer of the Famagusta traffic police was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a case of embezzlement of public funds and bribery.

According to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), the officer was reported that last Thursday, while on traffic control duty at the Larnaca-Ayia Napa motorway, he asked a tourist, whose breathalyser showed more than double the permitted alcohol consumption limit, to give him €100 so that he would not slap him with the €300 fine, provided by law for such cases.

The tourist reportedly gave him all the money he had on him, around €90, and the officer let him go. He later reported the officer to the police.

The officer faces charges for bribery, money extortion by a civil servant to show favour, abuse of power, and breach of trust.

Cyprus Mail

Police checks as pupils return to school

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Police carried out traffic checks near schools in Limassol yesterday in an effort to crack down on juvenile delinquency.

Forty five cars and one hundred and ten motorcycles were checked and seventy six offences detected.

A motorcycle was seized and one person was arrested for driving without insurance, no driver’s licence, etc..

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