Category Archives: Press

Beware of road works – Cyprus Mail

A section of the Paphos-Limassol motorway will be closed in both directions on October 24 due to maintenance of the roadside lighting, the Public Works Department announced on Thursday.

The works, conducted by the of Electrical and Mechanical Services will take place from 9am to 1pm from the Konion roundabout leading to Aphrodite’s Rock and will include the respective exits.

Traffic will be diverted to a slow lane, the department said.

Meanwhile, Cyta will conduct works in Larnaca during the weekend from 7am to 4 pm, the Public Works Department added.

On Saturday, a 200-500 metre section of Limassol Avenue in Larnaca will be closed from the Charilaou Trikoupi traffic lights to Kastalia traffic lights. Traffic will be directed to the adjacent lane.

On Sunday, a 50-300 metre section of the right lane of the Larnaca-Rizoelia motorway near the airport will be closed in both directions. Traffic will be directed to the left lane.

For more information www.traffic4cyprus.org.cy

Source: Beware of road works – Cyprus Mail

Report: MPs to lower new fines for traffic offences before approving them – In-Cyprus.com

MPs support increased penalties for abandoning the scene of an accident but will whittle down proposed steep increases for traffic offences, Phileleftheros reported on Wednesday.

It said that the House Transport Committee had completed its discussion of seven new bills introducing stiffer penalties for traffic offences such as speeding and using a mobile phone while driving as part of efforts to stem the bloodshed on the road.

According to the newspaper, MPs agree with the principle but have reservations as to the extent of the increase. A final decision on the actual penalties is expected to be taken by each party before the bills go to the plenary for approval later this month or early in November.

MPs have indicated that fines should be proportionate to income levels. They argue that fines of €200 are excessive and are counter-proposing €120 to €150.

Police have long called for tougher fines which they say will work as a deterrent.

Phileleftheros said that MPs agree with a bill to tow away vehicles which obstruct or are parked on bends of main arteries and for these to remain impounded until all the fines and the towing costs are paid.

They also agree with a bill introducing tougher penalties for abandoning the scene of an accident.

A bill which give police the right to impound a vehicle when a driver is found to be drunk or speeding also appears to enjoy the support of MPs.

The reservations focus on a stiff hike in fines for traffic offences such as speeding, not wearing a seat belt or helmet and illegal parking.

The government’s proposal is for fines for failure to wear a seat belt or helmet to rise from €85 to €300 and 3 to 6 penalty points. The same penalties are proposed for using a mobile telephone while driving.

Jumping a red light would be punishable with a fine of €200, up from €85 plus 3 to 6 penalty points, up from 2-4.

Parking in a disabled spot and on pavements will carry a €150 fine, up from the current €85

Source: Report: MPs to lower new fines for traffic offences before approving them – In-Cyprus.com

MPs to ditch 20-year-old law banning electric cars on highway – Cyprus Mail

AMENDMENTS to a 1999 law forbidding electric cars on highways are expected to be discussed by the House plenum in one of its coming sessions.

The matter emerged after Green Party leader Giorgos Perdikis was set to table a bill to amend the existing legislation before the plenum on Friday, only to find that an amendment proposal on the same issue was already submitted in June by Disy MP Demetris Demetriou and Diko MP Giorgos Prokopiou, with protocol dictating that a second proposal cannot be submitted until existing proposals on the matter are discussed.

As such, the law amendment proposal drafted by the two MPs is expected to be on the agenda of the plenum’s coming sessions.

According to the existing legislation, all cars powered solely by electricity (i.e not hybrids) are not allowed on highways where the minimum speed limit is 65km per hour. The law was passed in 1999 when small electric cars that circulated at the time were unable to surpass the minimum speed limit.

The number of electric cars on the island is on the rise, as from a total of just 34 electric cars registered in 2016, the figure rose to 87 in 2017 before rising higher to 135 in 2018. Significantly higher figures are being recorded for hybrid cars, which reached 4,418 in 2017.

Europe as a whole saw a surge of 30 per cent in electric car registrations between 2017 and 2018.

Diesel and petrol cars nevertheless continue to dominate the market, with the expensiveness of electric cars, with prices ranging from €22,000 to as high as €1m, that result from high manufacturing costs appearing to be the main hindering factor for potential buyers.

In Cyprus, means of transportation running on renewable energy sources amount to just 2.6 per cent of the island’s market, a figure EU targets wanted to see rising to 10 per cent by 2020, though prospects appear grim. Ireland, on the other hand, has set the aim to ban all conventional cars by 2030.

Some efforts to promote the use of electric cars have been made by the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), which installed E-charge stations for electric cars in 20 spots across the island – seven in Nicosia, five in Limassol, two in Larnaca, Paralimni and Paphos while Polis Chrysochous and Platres each have one station.

An EU programme also funded the installation of 12 additional charging stations for electric cars in Cyprus, while EU regulations will also require all parking spaces to provide charging stations as of 2020.

Experiments with electric cars began in the mid of 19th century after people started noticing the pollution from automobiles. Inventors attempted to create rechargeable batteries and introduced electric trams and trains. The first electric car was finally developed in 1890 and could reach 23km per hour but over the years, faded into oblivion until climate concerns began to take hold in recent decades.

Source: MPs to ditch 20-year-old law banning electric cars on highway – Cyprus Mail

Arrest after police fire warning shots to stop quad bike driver – Cyprus Mail

Paphos police on Thursday evening arrested a man in connection with the possession of drugs, dangerous driving, failure to comply with a police signal and other traffic offences.

Around 11.20pm, officers patrolling in Peyia signaled for a quad bike to stop, but instead of stopping the 41-year-old driver picked up speed and tried to escape. His vehicle came to a stop when it collided with the patrol car.

He then tried to flee on foot but was stopped after a number of warning shots were fired in the air.

When he was searched a small amount of cannabis and three knives were found.

The man had no driving licence and was not insured.

As he refused to give a sample for a breathalyzer and a saliva sample for a narcotest he was arrested.

Source: Arrest after police fire warning shots to stop quad bike driver – Cyprus Mail

New handheld devices for Paphos traffic wardens – Cyprus Mail

Paphos traffic wardens have entered a ‘new era’ of digital technology as state-of-the-art handheld devices will soon go into operation, the municipality said.

“The new equipment consists of small handheld computers and a printer that will be connected to the municipality’s computer system, as well as the GPS system for the immediate detection and recording of the location of any illegally parked vehicles,” a spokesman said.

The camera will record the vehicle’s licence plates which will then automatically identify the owner and issue any fines in a matter of seconds.

A meeting was held earlier this week at the Paphos municipal hall, in the presence of the mayor, Phedonas Phedonos where the ways of operating the new technology was discussed and explained.

“The representatives of the supply company also ran through all of the possibilities,” the spokesman added.

Using the new equipment, the municipality’s traffic wardens will become more efficient and productive in the performance of their duties, while also increasing the possibility of greater control by the local authority, he added.

The spokesman also pointed out that the new technology would help to prevent any allegations and discrepancies from complainants over past fines.

Source: New handheld devices for Paphos traffic wardens – Cyprus Mail

Bike law to be changed to include scooters – Cyprus Mail

The legislation regulating bicycle use will be amended to include scooters, Transport Minister Vassiliki Anastassiadou said on Tuesday.

Speaking after a meeting called to assess the possibility of regulating the use of scooters, attended by the police, the commerce ministry, the department of road transport, and the president of the union of municipalities, Andreas Vyras, Anastassiadou said the law will include the specifications of permitted scooters and a minimum age for drivers.

Anastassiadou said that the minimum age for scooter driving may be set at 16, though this needs further deliberation, she said.

Further, while the law will outline areas in which scooter driving is allowed, local authorities will have the power to allow or forbid scooter use as they see fit, given they place the necessary signs to adequately inform the public.

Also important, Anastassiadou said, is that the law will foresee penalties in view of specified violations.

Participants in the meeting could not decide on whether the law will require scooter drivers to purchase insurance coverage, Anastassiadou said, noting that the matter will be resolved at a later stage.

She said the law amendment will be ready soon and will be sent to the legal service before being tabled before the plenum for voting.

Source: Bike law to be changed to include scooters – Cyprus Mail

Cyprus’ two traffic cameras filmed 87,000 speeding violations in five years – Cyprus Mail

Cyprus’ only traffic cameras, operating on a small strip of Nicosia’s Grivas Digenis avenue, recorded over 87,500 traffic violations in five years, though only some 75,500 fines were issued.

Since June 2014 when the two cameras were first installed until May this year, they recorded a total of 87,534 speed violations. Of those, 75,569 fines were issued, with the remaining 11,965 violations being dismissed.

That some fines were dismissed was mostly because of protests by serial speeders who claimed that they had amassed numerous speeding violations without realising it because it took so long for the first fine to be issued. Around 5 per cent (4,139) of the dismissed fines involved vehicles of the UN, the Greek army contingent Eldyk, diplomats and the police.

Protests by drivers also led the road safety council to increase the speed limit on the specific strip from 50km/h to 65km/h some months after the cameras were installed, with the cameras clocking drivers driving over 70km/h.

In June 2014, their first month of operation, the cameras recorded 14,375 traffic violations. By August this had dropped to 10,359 violations while September saw 6,185. From January 2016 until May this year, this had fallen much further averaging at about 750 speeding violations a month.

Revenues from fines issued since June 2014 have amounted to €2.18m.

A system of traffic cameras operated elsewhere for around 10 months, from November 2006 until August 2007, but were removed after disagreements with the supplier, and since then there have been several botched tenders’ procedures.

During those 10 months, 16 fixed traffic cameras and seven mobile ones recorded around 165,000 violations, though the real number was in fact much higher as for various reasons the system was unable to process roughly 30 per cent of violations.

In July, transport minister Vassiliki Anastassiadou said that fresh tenders are to be launched for the installation of a full system of traffic cameras by 2022, while mobile cameras are planned to hit the roads as of next year.

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 one was said to be due to the ministry’s decision to choose a more sophisticated system, which can photograph vehicles from the front and back.

As well as recording speed, they will also be able to 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.

Source: Cyprus’ two traffic cameras filmed 87,000 speeding violations in five years – Cyprus Mail

Section of Limassol-Nicosia highway closed for roadworks – Cyprus Mail

A 3km stretch of the Nicosia- Limassol highway will be closed for two weeks starting from Monday for maintenance works, the Department of Public works announced said on Friday.

Works will be carried out from Zigi until Germasogia exit from 20.30 to 6.00.

Traffic will be diverted to the adjacent lane for the duration, the announcement said.

The department also announced that part of Nicosia’s Kallipoleos avenue form its crossing with Chalkidonos to Ethnikis Frouras street will be closed on Saturday due to road works.

Traffic will be directed to Ypatias, Eyagora Pallikaridi and Ethnikis Frouras street.

The department apologised for the inconvenience and asked drivers and pedestrians to follow traffic signs.

Source: Section of Limassol-Nicosia highway closed for roadworks – Cyprus Mail

Fifth underage teen caught driving in three days – Cyprus Mail

Police have caught yet another minor driving, this time in the Paphos area on Wednesday evening.

The 15-year-old is the fifth youngster caught driving without a licence and insurance in the past three days.

He was stopped by traffic police who were conducting routine checks at 7pm.

His father was summoned to the police station to which the teenager was taken as he failed to take the necessary measures to prevent his son from driving.

Source: Fifth underage teen caught driving in three days – Cyprus Mail