The parliament of Cyprus has passed a law that makes it a criminal offense to damage, deface or in any way alter a traffic sign.
The legislation, amending the Road Safety Law, provides for sentences of either up to six months prison, or a fine up to €1,700, or both running concurrently. The bill was passed by a unanimous vote.
The law prohibits writing, engraving, or drawing on traffic signs using any means – such as spray paint – and also the destruction, removal or defacement of such signs.
The legislation was passed to deter “mindless individuals” from vandalizing traffic signs, which can inconvenience the public and sometimes lead to dangerous situations for drivers. The state spends between €200,000 to €300,000 on restoring or repairing traffic signs every year.
The Road Transport Department is now replacing defaced traffic signs with new ones coated with a special foil that allows for vandals’ inscriptions to be rubbed out with a sponge.