Eight traffic cameras — four fixed and four mobile — will go into operation by the end of October for the pilot phase of a long-awaited traffic camera system authorities hope will lead to a significant reduction in road accidents.
“The main aim of the project is to prevent and reduce deaths and injuries as a result of traffic collisions,” Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos told reporters after being briefed on progress so far.
When a previous system was in operation at 12 locations, road collisions were slashed by 53.57 per cent, he said. “With the installation of the traffic camera system we expect to improve road safety especially in urban centres where the majority of road collisions occur.”
Karousos first visited the centre for the automated traffic violation monitoring and reporting system which will process the data, and then went to a busy Nicosia junction where traffic cameras will soon be in operation.
Violations recorded by the system will be collected at the centre from where notifications will be sent to traffic offenders under the supervision of police. The agreement is for 90 fixed cameras at 30 traffic blackspots islandwide and another 20 mobile cameras for speeding for which police will decide the location and hours of operation on a daily basis.
Cameras will report speeding, running a red light and crossing a stop line. Once these are detected, other offences such as use of a mobile phone while driving, drivers not wearing a seat belt or bikers not wearing a helmet can also be reviewed.
The project will be introduced in three phases. The pilot phase covers the four fixed and four mobile cameras and all the equipment for the centre. Phase one covers the installation and operation of another 16 mobile and 20 fixed cameras and phase two the remaining 66 fixed cameras.
The timeline for the pilot phase is the end of October. It will operate on a trial basis for up to three months. Phase one should be up and running in July 2022 and phase three in June 2023. The contractor will maintain and operate the system for five years under the supervision of the police. No fines will be issued for the first 30 days, but offenders will receive warning letters.
The €34m project comes 15 years after a first attempt at a traffic camera system was ditched among legal and technical difficulties.