Traffic violations are set to become steeper and tougher starting October 1, after deputies voted on Friday a set of bills into law and approved regulations aimed at tackling irresponsible driving.
With an overwhelming majority, plenum voted in favour with two against, the laws and regulations aiming for road safety and a decrease in Cyprus’ high number of road deaths and serious injuries.
Based on the new rules, driving without a seatbelt or while using their mobile phone, the fine is €150 the first time around. Repeat offenders within a three-year period will see the fine doubled.
Driving without a helmet carries a €200 fine which shoots up to €400 if someone is caught again in the space of three years after their first fine.
Someone speeding is fined €1 for every km/h they are going above the speed limit up to 30 per cent of the speed limit. If the speed limit is exceeded between 31 and 50 per cent, the fine is €2 per exceeded km/h and for 51 to 75 per cent of the speed limit, the fine is €3 per exceeded km/h.
An individual drunk driving and speeding up to 75 per cent of the speed limit with their alcohol level up to 70μg/100ml can be issued two separate fines.
Overtaking where it is not permitted carries a €150 fine. The number is increased to €200 if someone overtakes on a pedestrian crossing.
Parking at a disabled parking is fined at €300
Fleeing a scene after an accident without offering help will constitute an offence which will carry a sentence.
During the holidays, however, there are also various unforeseen incidents, some serious and not so much, but we also need to ask for help for them.
It is therefore useful to know some important contact numbers with the Police, in the area where we will be, so that in case we need to call for help, receive some advice or make a complaint, we can immediately contact either the local Police Station or the Police Directorate of the Province where we will be.
Relevant information on the contact numbers of the local Police Stations by Province, are published in the online link http://www.cypruspolicenews.com/police_stations, on the website of the Police www.cypruspolicenews.com. In addition to the telephone numbers, information is published about the address of the Police Stations, as well as about the areas of Municipalities and Communities, which are policed by each Police Station.
The contact numbers with the Police Directorates of the Provinces are as follows:
Famagusta Province: 23-803030
Larnaca Province: 24-804040
Limassol Province: 25-805050
Paphos Province: 26-806060
Morfos Area: 22-802525
Nicosia Province: 22-802020
The following numbers operate on a Cyprus-wide basis:
Cyprus Citizen’s Contact Line – 1460
Police Emergency – 112 or 199
A cyprus registration plate control campaign will be carried out by the Police on the control of registration plates for motor vehicles.
The campaign will begin on July 27, 2020 and continue until August 2, 2020. The aim of the campaign is to ensure proper compliance with the provisions governing the specifications of motor vehicle registration plates and the obligations of vehicle drivers, as contained in the Motor Vehicle Regulation.
© Reuters/POOL FILE PHOTO: Weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin
By Markus Wacket
BERLIN (Reuters) – German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer aims to clear the way for an almost blanket motorway toll for cars across Germany and Europe during the country’s presidency of the European Union, a draft document seen by Reuters on Wednesday showed.
Within eight years, almost all vehicles on motorways, including lorries, vans and cars, would have to pay tolls, according to the draft for the EU toll directive.
“As regards member states that have already established a charging system, tolls or user charges shall be levied upon all vehicles except coaches and buses,” stated the document which Scheuer wants German ministries to approve on Wednesday.
That would make it Germany’s official proposal for its presidency of the bloc which started on July 1 and runs until the end of the year.
However, some government officials told Reuters that some German ministries wanted to put the project on ice even though a distance-based toll is widely seen as a measure to help protect the climate.
It is particularly sensitive for ministries headed by the Social Democrats (SPD), who share power with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and have long been critical of car tolls.
(Reporting by Markus Wacket; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Michelle Martin)
A car that had been customised by its owner was destroyed on Wednesday on the orders of the Larnaca district court after it ruled that the changes made to the vehicle were illegal.
The car was seized last December after a routine traffic check in Larnaca when its 27-year-old owner was found to be driving while his licence was revoked and with no insurance.
During a check of the vehicle, police found out that it had undergone several mechanical conversions such as an engine change without the permission from the road transport department. The vehicle’s frame where the chassis number was located had been cut and welded anew, and as a result, it was not possible to prove the car’s identity. It was therefore deemed unfit to run, police said.
The Larnaca district court ordered the vehicle’s destruction on June 11 citing the illegal conversions made and the imprisonment of the owner for 30 days, among other things.
“The vehicle was transported today to an approved site of destruction of old vehicles where the court decree was executed,” police said.
The driver was sentenced to 30 days in prison and his licence was revoked for four months after he was found guilty of driving while his licence was revoked, with no insurance and for the changes he had made to the car.
Drivers are set to face steeper and more targeted fines in October, as parliament is set to vote next week on seven bills to introduce the changes.
The simple take-away is that fines are set to increase across the board. In most cases, the fines have been doubled with provisions for even steeper penalties for repeat offences within certain period of time.
The bills are set to pass next week but the new measures will not come into effect until October.
During the intervening two months, authorities will carry out a large-scale information campaign to inform the public of the new measures.
As one MP told the Cyprus Mail: “It’s complex set of changes that will occur and people will have to familiarise themselves with the new measures.”
It appears that there was some haggling over how steep to the fines should be.
It is understood that the justice ministry had lobbied for heftier fines, such as a penalty of €300 for using the phone while driving. The transport committee, however, proposed a fine of €150 which could reach €300 for a repeat offence.
The reasoning behind this, a member of the transport committee told the Cyprus Mail, is that “the fines should be high enough to act as a deterrent but not overly strict so as to bankrupt someone.”
The transport committee and justice ministry also hope to cover some loopholes. Currently, as the MP told the Cyprus Mail, it is cheaper to pay the fine for driving without a licence than it is to buy the licence itself.
The exact details of the new measures are set to be made available shortly as the information campaign begins.
Cyprus is near the bottom of European countries when it comes to the number of road fatalities per million inhabitants, according to figures released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
While Sweden has the safest roads, with 25 road deaths per million people, the UK is second with 28 and Cyprus is ranked at number 20 with 62.
Road fatalities are at their highest in eastern Europe. Romania has the worst record, with 99 fatalities per million inhabitants. Bulgaria comes close with 96. Next on the list are Croatia, Poland and Latvia.
The EU average is 49 fatalities per million.
According to the ACEA, road traffic deaths have been falling in the EU for the past two decades. In 2001, there were 54,900 fatalities. By 2017 this had fallen to 25,300.
However, more needs to be done, EU Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, responsible for internal market and industry, said.
“We can and must act to change this. With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when safety belts were first introduced,” she commented.
In a bid to alleviate traffic during the summer, police on Friday banned articulated lorries from using motorways and other networks between certain times the next three Sundays of the month.
According to a statement, on July 12, 19, and 26, between 9am and 1pm and 4pm and 8pm, articulated lorries would be banned from using motorways as well as the Nicosia -Troodos, Limassol-Platres-Troodos, and Paphos-Polis roads.
Recently, because of the large number of cars on the network and two crashes, thousands of motorists were stuck on the highway for hours.
In addition, police would be stepping up its patrols during the weekend and carry out checks with special emphasis on offences considered the main causes of fatal accidents.
On Sundays, police will also issue frequent announcements regarding the state of the roads.
The government on Thursday announced that the car scrappage scheme announced earlier this year was being cancelled, citing the economic impact of the coronavirus on the state budget.
The announcement follows a briefing by the finance ministry according to which the release of the budget concerning the car scrappage scheme and the promotion of electric vehicles is not foreseen within 2020.
The scheme, which was to issue grants to those who scrap their old cars to buy new ones, or new electric ones, was postponed last May and was to be reassessed at a later stage based on the revised budget for 2020.
Since developments in the economy due to the coronavirus pandemic are ongoing, an official announcement said, “the scheme in question is cancelled.”
Paphos police on Sunday appealed to motorbike users to wear helmets for their own safety.
Speaking after the death of a motorcyclist in Paphos early on Sunday morning, CID Paphos spokesman Michalis Ioannou said “we are making for one more time an appeal to motorcyclists to wear a helmet”.
Shortly before 5am on Sunday Evagoras Demetriou, 24, from Ayia Marina was driving home after a night out on the main road from Polis to his village when he lost control of the bike, which overturned leaving him on the pavement.
He was taken to Paphos general hospital where doctors confirmed his death.