Police checks on 800 truck drivers saw six in ten booked for offences – Cyprus Mail

Police checked a total of 799 trucks and 39 buses during a week-long campaign carried out between February 18 and 24 and booked a total of 494 – more than 60 per cent – truck drivers for various traffic offences.

The local campaign was part of a wider initiative by European Police Traffic Police Network Tispol.

According to a police announcement, the purpose of the campaign was to prevent road traffic accidents involving buses and trucks and to combat traffic offences committed by drivers of such heavy vehicles.

The focus was on driving and resting hours as well as acceptable technical condition of the vehicles.

Tispol is partly financed by the European Commission with the aim to improve road safety and law enforcement on the roads of Europe.

Source: Police checks on 800 truck drivers saw six in ten booked for offences – Cyprus Mail

House to vote this week on emissions tax – Cyprus Mail

THE House will this week be voting on two government bills that aim to introduce emissions-based taxes on passenger cars and vans.

Legislators have wrapped up discussion of the two bills – the first revising road tax rates by linking them to a vehicle’s emissions, and the second abolishing import tax.

At the House finance committee, a majority formed (Disy, Diko and Solidarity) for amending the second bill, so that rather than scrapping the import tax altogether, as proposed in the government text, the tax will be kept but reduced to zero.

This was done, explained Diko MP Angelos Votsis, to enable customs to continue carrying out vehicle checks.

The state will be losing an estimated €15m per year (including VAT) from scrapping the import tax, although this loss will be made up by increasing the road tax.

Currently, import taxes are as follows: vehicles with CO2 emissions up to 120 gr/km, no tax; from 121 to 150 gr/km, a tax of €25 per gr/km; 151 to 180 gr/km, a tax of €50 per gr/km; and upwards of 181 gr/km, a tax of €400 per gr/km.

As for the road tax, with the new regime the annual fee payable will be as follows: vehicles with carbon dioxide emissions less than 120 gr/km kilometre, €0.5 per gr/km; 120 to 150 gr/km, €3 per gr/km; 150 to 180gr/km, €5 per gr/km; and over 180gr/km, €10 per gr/km.

Annual road tax cannot exceed €1,500.

On top of that, under the coming changes road taxes will feature an additional fee depending on a vehicle’s emissions rating and age.

Vehicles compliant with the Euro6 emissions standard (manufactured from September 2014 and later) will not be subject to any extra charge. However, diesel-powered vehicles likewise complying with Euro6 will nevertheless be charged an extra €100; exempt are vehicles with exhaust emissions designated as 6c or 6d.

For Euro5-compliant cars (September 2009 to August 2014), an additional €100 will be charged for vehicles running on petrol, €250 for those running on diesel.

For older vehicles, the charges are €300 for petrol and €600 for diesel.

The aim of Euro 6 is to reduce levels of harmful car and van exhaust emissions, both in petrol and diesel cars. For diesels, the permitted level of nitrogen oxides emitted has dramatically dropped to a maximum of 80mg/km, compared to the 180mg/km level that was required for cars that met the previous Euro5 emissions standard.

The aim is to gradually phase out older vehicles which tend to pollute more.

According to daily Politis, citing numbers from the Road Transport Department, approximately 90 per cent of imported vehicles emit over 150 gr/km.

In 2018, about 1000 new vehicles and 5,500 second-hand cars of this category were imported.

In the same year, in the emissions category of over 200gr/km, just 111 new cars were imported, compared to 506 used cars.

Opposed to the scrapping of the import tax are importers of second-hand vehicles, who under the current situation had an advantage over dealers in new cars.

In 2018, for example, 67 per cent of newly-registered saloon cars were second-hand. Also, of the some 32,000 used cars imported, over half were diesel-powered.

Moreover, the average age of the fleet of saloon cars – both new and used – has been rising. In 2014 the average age was 2.62 years; by 2017 it rose to 3.68 years.

The average age of second-hand saloons alone went up from 4.88 years in 2014, to 5.77 years in 2017.

Source: House to vote this week on emissions tax – Cyprus Mail

Plan to link road tax to emissions agreed by lawmakers – Cyprus Mail

A new policy on linking the road tax to emissions has been agreed by legislators, who will be tabling a bill to the House plenum on March 1.

Under the new regime, the road tax payable will be as follows: vehicles with carbon dioxide emissions less than 120g per kilometre, €0.5 per gramme; 120 to 150 g/km, €3 per gramme; 150 to 180g/km, €5 per gramme; and over 180g/km, €10 per gramme.

Road taxes will also feature an additional fee depending on which emissions standard a vehicle complies with.

Vehicles compliant with the Euro6 emissions standard (manufactured from September 2014 and later) will not be subject to any extra charge. However, diesel-powered vehicles complying with Euro6 and designated as having 6c and 6d exhaust emissions will be charged €100.

For Euro5-compliant cars (September 2009 to August 2014), an additional €100 will be charged for vehicles running on petrol and €250 for those running on diesel. For older vehicles, the charges are €300 for petrol and €600 for diesel.

The aim of Euro 6 is to reduce levels of harmful car and van exhaust emissions, both in petrol and diesel cars. For diesels, the permitted level of nitrogen oxides emitted has dramatically dropped to a maximum of 80mg/km, compared to the 180mg/km level that was required for cars that met the previous Euro5 emissions standard.

Although agreeing the emissions charges, MPs remain divided on whether to scrap the fuel consumption tax entirely, or keep the levy and make it a staggered one – higher charges for higher emissions.

The House transport committee called on the government to prepare a scheme for retiring older vehicles with compensation incentives to owners.

Source: Plan to link road tax to emissions agreed by lawmakers – Cyprus Mail

RoADAR – Group Riding

RoSPA have recently published a series of video clips containing advice on group riding, where a motorcycle trainer shares his experiences of organising group rides. The clips are designed for those who have not organised a group ride before and contain advice to help riders ensure maximum safety and enjoyment while taking part in their group ride, whilst avoiding common pitfalls.

Cyprus one of worst offenders for motorway speeding – EU report – Cyprus Mail

Cyprus has one of the highest rates of speed violations on motorways in the EU, with 63 per cent violating the speed limit of 100km/h, according to a report just published by the European Transport Security Council’s Road Safety PIN (ETSC) programme.

The report on speeding as the cause of accidents includes the EU member states as well as Switzerland, Israel, Norway and Serbia.

The lowest rate of violation of motorway speed limits was registered in Lithuania, where 19 per cent drive faster than the allowed 130km/h. The highest, at 64 per cent, was Portugal which has a limit of 120km/h, just ahead of Cyprus in second place.

In contrast, with 37 per cent, Cyprus has the second-lowest rate of vehicles which fail to comply with the urban speed limit, just slightly higher than Sweden (35 per cent).

Poland (75 per cent) is the worst offender when it comes to urban speeding.

“The figure recorded in Cyprus is the second-lowest of the reporting countries, but it concerns more than a third of all cars and vans, and given the fact that the majority of road deaths in Cyprus occur in urban areas as opposed to most other European countries, complacency is not an option,” Giorgos Morphakis, spokesman for ETSC in Cyprus commented.

On rural two-lane streets, the percentage of cars and vans that violate the speed limits in Cyprus is again low, 18 per cent. The lowest percentage measured was recorded in the UK with 9 per cent and the highest in Israel, 70 per cent.

“Overspeeding and misjudging how fast to drive in certain circumstances cause one-third of fatal road crashes and are an aggravating factor in most accidents,” the report stressed.

It also said 2,100 lives can be saved each year if the average speed on all EU roads is reduced by just 1km/h.

To help solve the problem the transport security council recommends the adoption of the safe system approach.

“The Safe System approach, which has been endorsed in the EU strategic action plan on road safety, requires the road traffic management system to limit speeds to survivable levels, taking into account that humans make mistakes and their bodies have a limited tolerance for kinetic forces in case of a road collision,” the new report says.

Another helpful method is speed limit selection, a critical indicator determining safe travel speeds for different road types. Which speed is considered safe depends on the road design and its function, traffic volume, the composition of traffic and potential conflict types.

Source: Cyprus one of worst offenders for motorway speeding – EU report – Cyprus Mail