Drivers should be banned from all phone use behind the wheel – including hands-free calls, MPs declare today.
Using technology such as car speakerphones or bluetooth headsets can create the same crash risks as holding a phone, they warn. The Commons transport committee warns that current laws give the ‘misleading impression’ that hands-free use is safe.
Instead, MPs demand that ministers look at extending the current legislation, which only bans use of hand-held phones while driving.
They also want the Government to consider increasing punishments for drivers using mobiles, as well as recruiting more traffic officers or using roadside cameras to catch offenders.
The radical proposal, which will now be examined by the Department for Transport, is likely to be welcomed by road safety groups, particularly as figures suggest the number of crashes involving mobiles is rising.
An 18-year-old motorcyclist is in critical condition in Limassol hospital after being involved in an accident on Sunday afternoon in Limassol.
The incident happened at 6.40pm when a car driven by a 36-year-old man collided with the motorbike at the junction of Esperides street and Omonia avenue.
The biker was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with head injuries and a ruptured spleen.
He underwent surgery and is being treated in the intensive care unit. His state of health is described as very serious.
The driver was tested for alcohol and had a reading of 62µg instead of the 9µg allowed for drivers who have had a licence for less than three years. He also tested positive for drugs.
He was arrested while the causes of the accident are being investigated.
This was the second serious injury in an accident involving a motorbike during the weekend. An 11-year-old girl is in hospital in critical condition at the Nicosia general after the motorbike she was a passenger on crashed into a vehicle on a Limassol road on Saturday evening.
An 11-year-old girl is being hospitalised in critical condition at the Nicosia general after the motorbike she was a passenger on crashed into a vehicle on a Limassol road on Saturday evening, with the driver of the motorbike, 25, suffering only minor injuries.
According to the police on Sunday, the collision occurred at 6pm. The vehicle attempted to make a right turn as the motorbike was attempting to overtake it. The bike crashed into the concrete before hitting a pavement.
Neither the driver nor the little girl were wearing a helmet.
The 11-year-old suffered serious injuries and was taken, along with the 25-year-old driver, to the Limassol general hospital.
The girl was diagnosed with severe traumatic brain injury, and her transfer to the Nicosia general hospital was deemed necessary due to the severity of her condition.
The driver of the car tested negative for alcohol.
Changes are being introduced in the way police patrols operate both on the highways and in cities.
Shortly after instructing officers not to hide when conducting road inspections, the Traffic Department has been operating with triple patrols for the past three days to make sure drivers do not start speeding after passing the first check.
So far, officers have in fact noticed that, when passing a police patrol, after initially decreasing their speed, drivers would immediately accelerate straight after, thinking they would not find further patrol cars anytime soon.
Here’s how a likely scenario will unfold: there will be three patrol cars, for example on the Nicosia-Limassol highway, all three at different points along the way, so that, if a driver speeds through the first one, he can be easily spotted and stopped by the second or the third one.
The patrol cars will then move to the other side of the motorway to check the traffic going in the opposite direction. In this way, the Traffic Department is hoping to pass the message on to drivers that they must adhere to the speed limits throughout their entire journey and not just when they see a police car on the side of the road.
Two days ago, a driver was reported speeding throughout all three checks.
In the meantime, police officers have also changed they way they conduct traffic checks in cities.
According to the instructions given, drivers will now rarely see police officers at street corners waiting to stop offenders, as they have now started to conduct checks on-the-go.
In just one day under the new traffic policies, 585 drivers in Nicosia and 470 in Limassol have been stopped for various traffic offences.
Police will start a campaign to clamp down on the illegal transport of passengers by private drivers on Sunday. The campaign will last until August 30.
It will be carried out in cooperation with the licensing authority at entrance points to the republic, airports and ports, and in the wider Ayia Napa area.
The campaign will target drivers who do not have a permit to operate a taxi but transport passengers for a fee.
Members of the police traffic department and road transport supervisors will check the drivers’ documents and the vehicles.
A young man who was speeding at 111km/h in a Paphos street where the speed limit is 50km/h was arrested on Thursday.
The 22-year-old driver was not insured and the vehicle was not registered.
After his arrest he was charged and released pending his appearance in court at a later date.
By Annette Chrysostomou
LED lights will likely replace all conventional street lights in Cyprus by 2020, way earlier than the global goal which is to have 90 per cent of street lighting in the form of LED lamps, senior manager at the Electricity Authority (EAC) Yiangos Frangoulides has said.
As they are around 80 per cent more efficient than the old lights, replacing the bulbs will not only reduce electricity consumption and thus air pollution, but is also great for maintenance, as LED lights last years longer than fluorescent lights.
Already, more than two-thirds of municipalities have changed the bulbs in their roads or are in the process of doing so. Five major municipalities in Nicosia have done so, with just two to go. Nicosia (centre) and Aglandjia chose to issue private tenders these two are still being reviewed by the tenders authority. Continue reading LED-lighting the way by 2020 – Cyprus Mail
Police on Friday were searching for an unknown person who shot at motorcycle passengers using an air gun in the early hours at Limassol’s Enaerios area, injuring two persons.
According to police, the shooter was positioned at ground level and shot at passing motorcycles for reasons yet unknown.
The shooter first injured a 21-year-old female passenger on a motorcycle, before injuring a 30-year-old male motorcyclist. Both reportedly went to the hospital not knowing how they were injured until doctors found and removed pellets from their bodies.
Police went to the hospital to take their statements before launching an investigation into the identity of the shooter. Among other things, police said they would be studying surveillance footage from several businesses in the Enaerios area.
Cyprus is among the EU member states with the highest number of passenger cars, standing at just over 600 per 1,000 inhabitants, a newly released Eurostat report says.
It is one of several small countries with high motorisation rates.
First on the list for 2017 is Luxembourg, with 670 passenger cars per 1,000 inhabitants, followed by Italy (625 cars), Finland (617 cars), Malta (613 cars) and Cyprus in fifth place (609 cars).
The report notes that the Luxembourg figure may be influenced by cross-border workers using company cars registered in the country.
In 2017, the highest number of registered passenger cars was recorded in Germany, with 46 million cars. The second was Italy (37 million cars: 2016 data) and third France (32 million cars). Over the five-year period from 2013 to 2017, there was strong growth in the number of registered passenger cars in several member states.
The highest growth over this period was recorded in Slovakia (18 per cent), followed by Czechia and Portugal (both 17 per cent), Estonia (15 per cent), Malta and Hungary (both 14 per cent).
U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY.
Source: Distracted Driving (USA)