Pelican crossings installed on main Paphos streets

Pelican pedestrian crossings are set to enhance safety in Paphos starting this Wednesday. The municipality has strategically installed these crossings at key locations:

  1. Evagoras Pallikaridis Avenue: The pelican crossing will operate from midday on the section extending from its junction with Kaniggos Street to the new roundabout.
  2. Hellados Avenue: Another pelican pedestrian crossing will be active from its junction with Amathustos Street to the roundabout.
  3. Hellados Avenue and Onoufriou Klerides Street Junction: A third crossing will operate at the traffic lights adjacent to the municipality’s office of Technical Services.

These controlled traffic light systems are part of ongoing efforts to improve safety along these avenues. The municipality urges drivers to adhere strictly to road markings and signals for their own safety and that of fellow road users. 🚦🚶‍♀️🚗

Pelican crossings installed on main Paphos streets Read More »

Smart Traffic Lights to Revolutionize Nicosia and Limassol

Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades has announced an ambitious plan to introduce over 100 smart traffic lights across Nicosia and Limassol. The project, estimated to cost €7.2 million plus tax, will be co-funded by the EU’s Thalia 2021–2027 program.

Minister Vafeades revealed that these intelligent traffic lights will mark a departure from the traditional fixed-timing system. Instead, they will dynamically adjust their timing based on real-time road conditions.

Here are the key highlights of this groundbreaking initiative:

  1. Dynamic Timing: Unlike the rigid schedules of conventional traffic lights, the smart lights will adapt to the flow of traffic. For instance, if there are cars waiting at an intersection where the red light is on, but the opposing lane is empty, the smart lights will promptly adjust to optimize traffic flow.
  2. Citywide Implementation: The project aims to install 125 smart traffic lights at strategic locations in Nicosia and Limassol. These lights will form the backbone of a new urban traffic control system, enhancing efficiency and reducing congestion.
  3. Interconnected System: The smart lights will communicate with each other, creating a cohesive network. Cameras and sensors placed at critical points on road networks will evaluate real-time conditions and provide instructions to the equipment. This interconnected approach ensures seamless coordination.
  4. Safety and Emergency Response: An operations center will oversee the entire system. In emergencies, such as when an ambulance needs to navigate through traffic, the smart lights will adjust to facilitate swift movement. Additionally, buses on dedicated lanes will receive priority through sensor-based adjustments.

Minister Vafeades emphasized that this transformative project is on the horizon, with preparations underway for the tender process. As Cyprus embraces smart technology, these adaptive traffic lights promise to enhance safety, reduce travel time, and create a more efficient urban environment.

The future of traffic management in Cyprus looks promising, with these smart lights poised to revolutionize the way we navigate our cities. 🚦🌟

Smart Traffic Lights to Revolutionize Nicosia and Limassol Read More »

Transport Minister granted power to implement ULEZ in Cyprus | Cyprus Mail

The transport minister was granted the power to implement ultra-low emissions zones (ULEZ) in Cyprus, after a bill was passed into law in the House of Representatives on Thursday.

The law allows the minister to take a plethora of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution caused by motor vehicles, among them the power to implement ULEZ.

The powers will see the minister able to ban different categories of vehicles from entering certain areas, and also levy charges for some vehicles in some areas.

He will also have the power to implement geographical and time restrictions based on the amount of pollution caused by any given type of vehicle.

In addition, the minister will be able to set a final date at which certain types of vehicles will be able to be registered.

Disy MP Fotini Tsiridou spoke in favour of the bill, saying it takes into account the European Green Agreement and the EU’s greenhouse gas targets.

However, Akel MP Valentinos Fakontis said the planned measures “could be implemented from 2027 to allow time for other measures to be in place and for improvements to public transport”.

He added that the final date at which certain types of vehicles will be able to be registered should be determined by regulations and “not by ministerial decree”.

However, Edek MP Elias Myrianthou said the planned measures should be implemented in 2025.


Source: Transport Minister granted power to implement ULEZ in Cyprus | Cyprus Mail

Transport Minister granted power to implement ULEZ in Cyprus | Cyprus Mail Read More »

Transport minister doubles down on €300 fine for running red light | Cyprus Mail

Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades doubled down on Wednesday on the issuing of €300 fines for those who run red lights.

Speaking to newspaper Phileleftheros, he said “there is no question of changing the fine.”

He added that the police had been “strongly opposed” to the idea of any reduction in the fine for running a red light but had been open to reducing the fine paid by people who inadvertently cross the white line while stopping at an intersection.

The fine for crossing the line is set at €25.

Vafeades added that stop lines will be moved back and intersections enlarged, “so it becomes more understandable where drivers have to stop.”

He also spoke on the issue of penalty points. Currently, he said, points remain on people’s licences for two to three years, but plans are afoot to change this.

The Transport Ministry has plans to create a “school of offending drivers” to offer awareness courses for those with points on their licences.

Vafeades said that until the school is created, motorists can take points off their licences by undertaking community service, with good deeds such as road cleaning and working voluntarily in elderly care homes included in the programme.


Source: Transport minister doubles down on €300 fine for running red light | Cyprus Mail

Transport minister doubles down on €300 fine for running red light | Cyprus Mail Read More »

Further 66 traffic cameras due to come online

All traffic cameras currently installed have passed the piloting phase and are in full operation, while a second phase is underway that will see the installation of 66 additional cameras, head of the electromechanical services said on Tuesday.

The initial installations were prioritised after police studies determined the location of “black spots” categorised as such for having record levels of collisions and fatal accidents, Marcos Marcou told CyBC radio.

“We have covered the most dangerous spots,” he added, saying that four new installations were currently being piloted in Larnaca.

The director admitted that the system, so far, homes in on “black spots” within cities, not on the motorways, which continue to be monitored through mobile camera vans.

Addressing complaints by drivers of unfair fines due to “hidden” vans and flash-happy automatic cameras, the director said some drivers’ concerns had been taken into consideration and others had been dismissed.

As far as “hidden” vans, the director maintained that this was an imaginary assertion.

“The cameras of the van must be visible otherwise it cannot record violators,” Marcou explained. It is possible that a Brinks van – the company that operates the cameras – may be temporarily parked at a hard-to-see spot when the employee is on break, Marcou suggested. “During this time the camera cannot record violations,” he said.

As for other gripes by commuters, notably about stop line and green arrow turn violations issued too eagerly, Marcou explained that the stop line threshold has been adjusted following complaints.

The green arrow violation has also been adjusted with a longer grace period given for drivers to move out of the violation zone once the arrow fades, and applies mainly to cross-roads with pedestrian crossings, Marcou said.

Other fines, such as mobile phone use, seat belt use and helmet use while driving, are only issued on top of speeding, stop line or red light violations, when footage of the incident is examined, Marcou clarified.

To date the director said, 400,000 fines have been recorded in total since the system’s introduction in 2022. Of these 112,000 are for speeding, 18,000 for stop line violations, 700 for mobile phone use, 150 for driving without holding the wheel, 250 for non-use of a seatbelt, and 30 for non-use of helmet.

The ministry of transport is expected to soon announce its total revenues from the system’s implementation.

Further 66 traffic cameras due to come online | Cyprus Mail (

Further 66 traffic cameras due to come online Read More »

No penalties planned for drivers who warn of speed checks | Cyprus Mail

But minister says no reduction in fines for going through red light

Drivers will not be penalised for warning others of speed checks ahead, and the €300 fine for going through a red light at the traffic cameras will not be lowered, the transport minister has told the Cyprus Mail.

Alexis Vafeades put rumours to rest which emerged over the past few weeks and circulated in reports after a road safety council meeting on Tuesday.

Vafeades categorically denied the rumours and reports that the ministry was preparing a bill to penalise drivers who warn others of speed checks.

“There is no such proposal, but what has been discussed is criminalising devices which interfere with the operation of the traffic cameras,” he told us on Friday.

He clarified that social media groups or apps which inform drivers of speed check locations are not prohibited.

“Neither is it prohibited for a driver to flash their lights to warn others of speed checks ahead,” he said.

Vafeades further explained that when the bill goes to the legal services for review, the language will clearly state that it is only devices which interfere with the cameras that are to be prohibited.

The other hot topic has been the possibility of the €300 fines from the cameras being reduced, with the minister previously having supported such a move.

Indeed, in early September Vafeades stated that some pensioners receive €600-€700 a month meaning they would lose half a month’s income by passing through a red light.

But on Friday he referred to a fatal crash this week in which a driver ran a red light, hit someone, and died.

“So let me clearly state that there will not be a reduction in the fines, the €300 fine for running a red light is not going down,” the minister said.

He said the police supported the fine remaining at €300.

“So the fine must remain high,” he emphasised.

The police have explained that the stationary camera units issue three types of fines: speeding (with the fine linked to how fast the vehicle was moving), passing over the white stop line (€25), and passing through a red light (€300).

Vafeades also promised further clarifications on the situation at intersections when drivers need to turn right.

“We clarified that if you move into the intersection while the green arrow to turn right is lit, then that is not a violation even if the green arrow switches off before you’re able to make the turn,” he said.

“Therefore you’re not punished even if the green arrow elapses – you are given time to move,” he said.

Vafeades added that was what had appeared to have caused widespread confusion and concern, adding that upcoming projects will aim to make the situation considerably clearer.

He said that will include clearer road markings, among other efforts, which are to be completed soon and to achieve immediate results.

“I think these efforts will be satisfactory for now to gain the public’s trust in the process at the traffic cameras and intersections,” he said.

But another longstanding complaint from the public is the notification process as to whether a fine has been received, with issues and delays in handing out fines leading to post offices being flooded with them.

“We decided to review the process and discussed the possibility of handing the fines at the ports and airports, and during road tax renewals – I believe this will make the handing over of fines much more effective,” he explained.

The minister also confirmed that a driver may soon be alerted via text message or email that they have been fined, but that development depends on the relevant bill the passing through parliament.

He added that some drivers currently complain that fines are arriving seven months after the violation.

As for the future of the traffic camera system, Vafeades said the second phase of installation is underway, meaning dozens more cameras are to be placed throughout Cyprus.

Information made available by the minister to Akel MP Nikos Kettiros shows that 241,695 violations have been recorded by the cameras since they became operational on January 1, 2022.

The data, valid up until August 30, further shows that mobile (van) cameras snapped the majority of violations – coming in at 173,178. Those were for speeding.

The fixed (stationary) cameras in Nicosia recorded 18,623 speeding violations, 27,243 drivers crossing the white line, and 16,574 for going ‘through’ a red light.

No penalties planned for drivers who warn of speed checks | Cyprus Mail Read More »

‘This is Cyprus. We need our cars!’ | Cyprus Mail

September 22 is World Car-Free Day. But can anyone on this island manage without their vehicle for 24 hours asks Alix Norman

 The average Greek walks roughly 2.8 kilometres per day. People in Turkey walk more: roughly 3.4km per day. Brits do 3.6km; Russians 6km; and a resident of China walks roughly 6.2km each day.

In Cyprus, no numbers are immediately available. But they’re unlikely to be high: this is a nation that loves its automobiles! Over 90 per cent of Cypriot residents prefer cars over other types of transport. And a recent Nicosia municipality report reveals that public transport is responsible for just three per cent of journeys, and bicycles for 1.5 per cent. All of which means that it’s unlikely too many of us will be trying this Friday’s global event: World Car-Free Day.

Every year, on September 22, countries across the globe encourage motorists to give up their vehicles for 24 hours to highlight the benefits of reduced air pollution, decreased traffic congestion, and a safer society. Now, in terms of pollution, Cyprus is isn’t too bad: our urban areas register 13.8 μg/m3, just above the EU average, but well down from 14.5 μg/m3 five years ago. Traffic congestion is also manageable at many times of the day – unless there’s a presidential motorcade on its way. And road deaths have recently fallen by 20 per cent. Still, it would be rather nice to have an entire car-free day across the island. But is it possible?

Once upon a yesteryear, our ancestors went everywhere under their own steam. But today, we don’t all work in the nearby fields or village shop, so our daily commute tends to much longer.

There’s also the faster pace of life, multiple private lessons for the kids, and supermarkets the other side of town. Throw in the monthly Ikea trip, and it’s easy to argue that owning a car in Cyprus is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Perhaps this is the reason the recent petition for once-a-month car-free Sundays in central Nicosia seems to have fallen through?

“Look, this is Cyprus. We need our cars!” declares 34-year-old Andreas, a banker who suggests that time constraints are the main factor. “Tell me how I’m meant to get from Lakatamia to Acropolis each day without a car? And what about my meetings in Limassol? I need to get there on time; the only way to do that would be in a taxi – that’s just a car that costs a day’s salary!”

Limassolian George is also unlikely to go car-free come September 22. But for this 44-year-old bachelor, it’s more about the driving experience. “I have a Porsche Boxster, a Fiat 500, and a vintage Jaguar my Dad gave me. I love cars, I love driving. I’m not going to give that up even for a day!”

George’s rate of car ownership, it transpires, is not overly abnormal. According to recent data, Cyprus has 785 vehicles per 1,000 residents, and ranks 12th on the list of cars per capita. But we’re still well below Malta, Gibraltar, Guernsey, San Marino, and Lichtenstein – all countries with more cars than people!

It’s notable that most of the top 10 are small, picturesque nations – places that aren’t large enough to generate a public transport infrastructure, and probably have a great many rental vehicles for visitors. At the other end of the spectrum, we see factors such as poverty, lack of roads, and a higher rural population coming into play: of the 10 nations with the fewest cars per capita, all are in Africa or Asia…

“When I was growing up in Sri Lanka, nobody had a car,” says 61-year-old Sandya. “We all walked. Some rich people had a bicycle. In Cyprus I walk from my madam’s house in Strovolos into town each Sunday for church and friends. It is nothing.”

For some, of course, walking isn’t an option. Those who need to transport heavy loads, move multiple kids, or have urgent appointments are all less likely to try the upcoming Car-Free Day. And a number of us couldn’t manage without our vehicles for very valid health reasons…

“God gave us legs to walk,” says 71-year-old Oroklini resident Petros. “But he also gave us the ingenuity to invent the wheel, thank goodness. I wish these eco-warriors would think about those of us whose knees have given out before they start ranting about the environment!”

Then there’s proximity. Although most of the island’s towns are fairly centralised (except Limassol – if you live on one end of the coastline and work on the other, all is forgiven!), many of the more necessary businesses have moved to the suburbs.

“Back in Yorkshire, we lived in a small village,” says 65-year-old Paphos resident Gemma. “Boots, WH Smith, the clinic and the pharmacy – they were all right on your doorstep. You could go a week without driving. But in Cyprus, there’s no such thing as a high street. So most days, you’re in the car at least once to get everything you need.”

And then, of course, there’s the issue of public transport. Cyprus may not have the trains or trams that are common in large foreign cities. But we do have buses.

“Yes but they’re not only unreliable, they’re expensive!” says Jack, a 24-year-old photographer. “Salaries in this country are abysmal, and when most of your money goes on rent and food, even the bus fare of €2 per trip can be prohibitive. And the car prices here are insane; if I could afford to buy a vehicle, I still couldn’t pay the petrol.

“And so I walk,” he shrugs. “40 minutes to work in the morning, 40 minutes back in the evening. I think that as long as you’re young, fit and live in a town, you can manage. Though, to be honest, if I had the option of driving to work, then that’s what I’d do. Every day. Even on Car-Free Day!”

Source: ‘This is Cyprus. We need our cars!’ | Cyprus Mail

‘This is Cyprus. We need our cars!’ | Cyprus Mail Read More »

Parliament to Vote on €5,000 fine for blocking mobile traffic cameras | Cyprus Mail

Parliament is to vote on a bill which would impose a €5,000 fine for those blocking mobile traffic cameras from being able to capture traffic violations.

The issue has been ongoing and gained widespread attention after some drivers have gone viral on social media – posting footage of themselves parking behind a mobile camera van and blocking its view.

The Sunday Mail spoke to one of the ‘vigilantes’ in August.

But Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades warned that those obstructing the operation of the cameras are essentially endangering all other drivers.

“It is important for this to stop, we should know that cameras on the streets enhance road safety… consultation on the bill is now finalised,” he said, adding that the fine is expected to be set at €5,000.

The bill is to be voted on in parliament.

Parliament to Vote on €5,000 fine for blocking mobile traffic cameras | Cyprus Mail Read More »

Tenders for smart lights installation on October 15 | Cyprus Mail

The tender for the installation of smart traffic lights will be announced on October 15, according to Transport minister Alexis Vafeades.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), he said he estimates that the lights will begin to be installed in mid-2024, with installation set to be complete in 2025.

He added that the lights “will improve traffic”. They will work by using artificial intelligence and sensors to give priority to traffic accordingly, including to buses and emergency vehicles.

“A person will no longer wait at a red light if no one is passing through a green light at the same intersection. The smart lights will recognise that there is no vehicle on the given road and give priority to the vehicle stopped at the red light,” he said.

He also said that studies from countries where smart traffic lights have already been installed show a reduction in traffic between 10 and 35 per cent.

The first smart traffic lights in Cyprus were installed as a pilot scheme back in 2021 on the Ayia Fyla roundabout, with Vafeades now saying the aim is to install them across the island.

Source: Tenders for smart lights installation on October 15 | Cyprus Mail

Tenders for smart lights installation on October 15 | Cyprus Mail Read More »

Nearly 40 per cent drop in road deaths | Cyprus Mail

The police have hailed a 38.5 per cent reduction in fatal road collisions this year.

Police spokesperson Eleni Constantinou explained on Wednesday that the significant decrease in fatalities is marked from 2022 compared to 2023.

She stated that from January 1, 2021, to August 16, 2021 there were 22 fatal collisions with 23 deaths.

The same period the following year, 2022, recorded 26 fatal collisions and 28 deaths.

But this year a significant reduction in both fatal collisions and deaths have been recorded, with 16 and 17 respectively – meaning there were ten fewer than last year.

The reduction works out at 38.5 per cent fatal collisions and 39.3 per cent deaths respectively.

Constantinou attributed the marked change to the police force’s and other state authorities policies as yielding results.

That, she said, has been achieved by stepping up of awareness campaigns – such as multiple programmes for conscripts in the national guard – and seminars in schools, and other public institutions.

But officers on the ground also played a major role, Constantinou stated, adding that the force’s continuous checks for compliance with the traffic code is also a key factor.

She added that recently installed traffic camera system – which went live in October 2021 – has also played a crucial role in reducing traffic collisions.

The primary culprits identified as leading to fatal collisions include drivers being distracted (mobile phones), speeding, driving under the influence, and not wearing seatbelts or crash helmets.

She concluded that the public’s awareness of the severe and fatal impacts of reckless driving has been highlighted in the media and public discourse.

Constantinou’s figures covered the January-August period, and a recent report Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) published in June recorded a similar downward trend in road fatalities.

It reported that the number of road deaths dropped from 45 in 2021 to 37 last year. That shifts the island’s ranking from 17th place in 2021 to 9th place among the 27 EU member states in 2022, the report released by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said.

Close to three years ago the fines for many traffic violations were increased significantly, such as fines for motorcyclists not wearing a crash helmet more than doubled to €200, while those not wearing a seat belt now fork out €150 – raised to €300 for a repeated offence within three years.

The fine for not wearing a helmet increased from €85 to €200 and then €300 for a second violation.

Using a mobile phone while at the wheel now costs €150 (if caught), instead of the previous €85, with the fine potentially rising to €300 in case of a second violation within three years.

The fine for parking in a spot reserved for the disabled rose from €85 to €300, as did the fine for those running a red light.

Source: Nearly 40 per cent drop in road deaths | Cyprus Mail

Nearly 40 per cent drop in road deaths | Cyprus Mail Read More »