Second phase of electric vehicle grant scheme launched | Cyprus Mail

The transport ministry on Wednesday unveiled the second phase of the electric vehicle scheme, with a €10 million budget aimed at offering 2,518 grants.

Applications will be possible starting January 9, 2023 from 11am until March 9, 2023, at 11am.

The scheme offers grants to purchase electric and plug-in hybrid cars with CO2 emissions up to 50g/km, at a cost of €80,000 including VAT for new cars and €50,000 including VAT for used cars.

Motorcycles and small cars that fall under the ‘L’ category, as well as e-bikes and buses are included in the scheme. The ministry specified scooters are not included.

According to Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos, the first phase of the scheme was deemed successful after 7,000 members of the public applied for a grant and almost 100 per cent have completed the process of obtaining their electric vehicle.

“Our national goals for electric vehicle registrations in 2022 were exceeded by 140 per cent,” he said.

A significant sum of the funding comes from the EU as part of the Cyprus-Tomorrow plan, Karousos specified.

The scheme also includes the possibility to scrap an old vehicle in exchange for a grant that can go towards buying an electric vehicle or, depending on the category, bus tickets or grants for buying an e-bike.

The grants start at €10,000 for electric vehicles while the funding for scrapping old vehicles amounts to €7,500.

A key change in the latest scheme compared to the first, is that there will not be a priority in how the applications are processed, therefore reducing the need for people to rush to apply. Instead, if more people apply, the ministry will carry out a draw, Karousos explained.

Additionally, those interested in purchasing an electric vehicle will have to submit a confirmation letter from a seller that they have been informed of the price.

“This is so we don’t have excessive applications that don’t move forward, saving us time on bureaucracy,” the minister said.

More information can be found at

Source: Second phase of electric vehicle grant scheme launched | Cyprus Mail

Record low in road fatalities say traffic authorities | Cyprus Mail

Cyprus this year recorded the lowest number of deaths from road collisions since the start of data-keeping, according to assistant traffic director Haris Evripidou.

Close to year’s end, the record currently stands at 37 deaths, eight fewer than last year, a 17.8 per cent reduction. The lowest previous death toll, recorded in 2012, stood at 44. The traffic department, confirmed by police data, clearly attributes the reduction to the instalment of traffic cameras.

“We did not do anything different [to previous years] in terms of preventing road collisions. What happened this year, is the arrival of the traffic cameras,” Evripidou said.

The operation of even a small number of fixed and mobile cameras has been instrumental in bringing about the encouraging reduction in road deaths, the assistant director stated, adding that the mere fact of drivers knowing they can be caught on camera at any moment, led to greater compliance with traffic rules, particularly to obeying speed limits.

Car driver deaths this year decreased by 50 per cent, with ten fatalities recorded compared to 20 last year, and 16 in 2020. A small decrease in motorcycle driver deaths was also seen, with nine deaths recorded this year, compared to 11 last year, and 13 in 2020. Serious injuries also seem to be on a downward trend, however, official figures have not yet been released.

Limassol, seems to be the one outlier the traffic director revealed, recording 13 deaths up from nine in 2021. However, Nicosia recorded a significant decrease from 14 down to eight. Paphos also recorded a decrease from nine down to five, while in Larnaca the situation remained unchanged, with six deaths recorded for both years. Famagusta, meanwhile, recorded five fatalities down from six in 2021, while Morphou recorded none, compared to one last year.

Of the total number of victims, ten were car drivers, four passengers, nine motorcycle drivers, two motorcycle passengers, four cyclists, six pedestrians and one electric scooter rider.

Of the 14 car fatalities only four were wearing seat belts, while, of the remaining victims, nine were confirmed to not be wearing a seat belt, with one case unconfirmed.

Of the 12 motorcycle victims, only five were wearing helmets. Half the victims, six out of 12, were under 25 years old.

The effectiveness of traffic cameras does not indicate a reduced need for traffic police patrols, Evripidou pointed out. Human intervention on the road network is still needed, he said, citing as an example an excessively speeding driver who may be caught on camera and prosecuted a month or two later, whereas if caught by traffic police he would immediately be taken to court.

Police patrols can also catch violators such as drunk drivers and administer breathalyser and drug tests, which cameras cannot do, the director added.

Source: Record low in road fatalities say traffic authorities | Cyprus Mail

Railway more feasible for Cyprus than tram systems, Karousos says | Cyprus Mail

A railway is much more feasible an option for Cyprus than tram systems, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said on Monday in an interview giving an overview of a number of solutions to the island’s chronic traffic issues in the coming years.
In the video interview with the Cyprus News Agency, Karousos said the plans aim at significant improvements or even possibly a solution to the traffic problems in Cyprus.
One of the more immediate improvements, the minister said would be that with the completion of the Nicosia ring road, traffic at the entry to the capital would be reduced by 25 per cent. This should happen by the end of 2023.
Smart traffic lights will start to be installed from next month, he said and staggered timetables would be introduced in the public service and schools at peak morning hours, 7am to 8am. The bus system, which is fractured, is also to be further integrated.  “The bus will run seamlessly from one end of Nicosia to the other – and not in sections – as it is today,” Karousos said.
He also revealed that bus journeys has increased from 10 million in 2012 to 24 million by the end of 2022.
All of the measures in the pipeline would bring about a “significant improvement and possibly the solution to traffic problems”.
In the longer term, Karousos said that a railway was a better probability to a tram systems if it could be co-financed by the EU as it would cost €1.5 billion.
“It is much more feasible and easier to be built in relation to a tram system since the railway can be installed along the motorway without the need for [land] expropriations,” he said.
However a study that has already been carried out, shows that without co-financing  it would not be possible.
“We want to promote this and that is why during the recent visit of the EU Transport Commissioner, Adina Valean, to Cyprus, I had a bilateral meeting with her and raised the issue of funding for the promotion of the project from the EU,” Karousos said.
“The study shows that the railway can be installed, which will connect the cities with the airports and ports, and of course there are prospects for its financing but of course it would be a monumental project, which will exceed €1.5 billion.”
In the meantime, other solutions to traffic must be found, he said. This includes the ring road for Nicosia, which has a price tag of €75 million. Other roads are also being improved and one of the most important will be the extension of the Nicosia – Palechorio highway to Agros and Kyperounda. When this network is completed, someone will be able to travel from Limassol to Nicosia through mountainous areas, using the highway, he said.
When it comes to inner city problems, Karousos said the installation of smart traffic lights would also contribute to easing traffic, since according to a study, it was found that in countries where the specific systems have been installed, there has been a reduction in traffic, with improvements starting from 10 per cent to 35 per cent.
He noted that the technology was already being used at the Ayia Fyla roundabout, where measurements have shown that the expected travel time in the northern part traffic has been reduced by at least 50 per cent.
Karousos also mentioned that at the same time another ‘intelligent’ system, which includes sensors, cameras and electronic signs along the highways through which drivers will be informed with announcements about issues related to their journey.
The minister said they have already had results from the traffic cams system with reductions in accidents.
“The system in question is an important tool, which we now have in our possession, aimed at preventing and preventing traffic violations, which will result in a further reduction of road collisions ,” he said.
The first 16 mobile cameras and another 20 fixed cameras have been placed in six locations in Nicosia and Limassol. “The goal of the system is to operate proactively and to prevent violations, not to collect fines extrajudicially,” he added.
“The places where the installation takes place are places that have been characterized as black or problematic by the police. It is important and it can be seen from the statistics that road collisions are decreasing throughout Cyprus.

Source: Railway more feasible for Cyprus than tram systems, Karousos says | Cyprus Mail

Improvements to managing traffic flows | Cyprus Mail

Ο Υπουργός Μεταφορών, Επικοινωνιών και Έργων κ. Γιάννης Καρούσος παρίσταται στην τελετή υπογραφής συμβολαίου για το έργο «Αναβάθμιση και συντήρηση της πλατφόρμας OMNIA-MISTIV», Λευκωσία 15 Δεκεμβρίου 2022.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos on Thursday signed a contract for the upgrade and maintenance of electronic boards used for the management of traffic on Cyprus’ road network.

The deal is worth €1,021,348 including VAT and was signed in the presence of the director of the public works department Eleni Kaskiri and the director of international sales of Swarco Italia, the company producing the boards, Fabrizio Biora.

“This investment will help to better manage the road network by increasing its safety and capacity by responding quickly to incidents and providing information to drivers,” said a transport ministry announcement released after the deal was signed.

“It will also provide accurate traffic data free of charge to individuals for the development of navigation applications and to research centres or universities for scientific purposes.”

The purchase, installation and connection of the platform to the control centre located at the public works department headquarters will be covered by the European Union and the government through the ‘Transnational Cooperation Programme Greece-Cyprus 2014-2020’, which aims to increase the competitiveness of the area by supporting entrepreneurship and the use of information and communication technologies.

The deal includes a six-year maintenance period.

The boards will be connected to the existing smart traffic system link, which already includes 26 road surveillance cameras.

Source: Improvements to managing traffic flows | Cyprus Mail

Additional traffic cams in Nicosia and Limassol by January 31, 2023 | Cyprus Mail

Twenty additional traffic cams are expected to be operational in Nicosia and Limassol by January 31, 2023.

Currently, four mobile and four stationary cameras are in service at various locations in Nicosia.

The timeframe for upgrades to the traffic control system, provide for the installation of 20 additional cameras at six crossroads in the two cities.

By January 31, there will be a total of 16 mobile and 20 stationary cameras in place and the first phase of the project will be complete.

The second phase foresees the installation of an additional 66 cameras, bringing the total up to 110 units, consisting of 20 mobile and 90 stationary cameras.

Source: Additional traffic cams in Nicosia and Limassol by January 31, 2023 | Cyprus Mail

New scheme for EV purchases in the pipeline | Cyprus Mail

New schemes providing incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles are expected to be announced within the next two weeks, the transport ministry said.

About 2,500 applications will be approved as part of the subsidy scheme for the purchase of electric cars and for withdrawal of old ones, the director general of the transport ministry Yiannis Nicolaides told state radio Trito on Thursday.

The applications will be submitted electronically. If they exceed the number of available grants, beneficiaries will be selected at random electronically, Nicolaides said.

According to Eurostat data, 66 per cent of cars in Cyprus were older than ten years old. A mere four per cent of passenger vehicles were less than two years old as of December 31, 2020 and just ten per cent were between two and five years old.

In total 20 per cent of cars were between five and ten years old, 49 per cent were between 10 and 20 years old and 17 per cent were older than 20 years.

However, the national goal for registered electric vehicles in 2022 was surpassed by 144 per cent according to the transport ministry.

Previous incentives announced for the purchase of electric vehicles, included taxis and buses, and transportation means with lower emissions in combination with a car scrappage scheme.

The first scheme, announced back in November 2021 with a €4m budget, concerned the scrappage of cars older than 12 years and their replacement with new ones with lower emissions, or with electric bicycles or in exchange for bus tickets.

For the scrappage of an old car and its replacement with a new one that emits less than 50 grammes per kilometre of carbon dioxide, the subsidy was at €7,500. In total 360 subsidies were on offer.

For those wishing to scrap an old car and purchase a taxi that emits less than 50g/km CO2 the subsidy was €12,000 (33 subsidies).

Another subsidy amounting to €10,000 was offered for the scrappage of an old car and purchase of a new one for disabled people emitting less than 50g/km CO2. The same applies for purchasing a car for large families (20).

Source: New scheme for EV purchases in the pipeline | Cyprus Mail

Mandatory road-safety messages to be included in ads for cars and alcohol | Cyprus Mail

The transport ministry on Saturday announced that the House plenum has approved an amendment to the Road Safety Act 2022, allowing it to regulate advertisements and other such activities that concern the sale of alcohol and vehicles.

“By law, it will now be mandatory to include communication messages about road safety issues in advertisements related to the purchase of vehicles and alcohol consumption,” the ministry said.

“These messages will be determined by a decree from the minister of transport, in which the requirements and relevant details will be provided,” it added.

According to the amending bill, the minister may, by decree published in the Official Gazette, establish requirements for the purpose of improving road safety, with the inclusion of communication messages in advertisements promoting the purchase of vehicles or advertisements related to the consumption of alcohol or determine other ways to incorporate this type of communication into vehicle sales or alcohol advertising.

What is more, the ministry clarified that the obligation to include the messages rests, based on the law, on the person on whose behalf the product is promoted.

This bill is part of a series of initiatives, actions and legislative arrangements that the transport ministry has implemented in the interest of road safety.

Other actions include the installation of the traffic camera system, the institution of road safety ambassadors, the grant schemes for protective equipment for motorcyclists, the significant increase in the road safety budget, as well as the promotion of roadworthiness testing for motorcycles.

In addition, the ministry has also implemented the child-seat grant scheme for buses, the passing of the electric scooter law, and the completion of related bills for driving schools and instructors, as well as the bill concerning the mandatory recording and declaration of road collision damages in the history of each vehicle.

The ministry said that in February 2022 it also submitted to the House various amendments to the driving licence law, through which driving on the road network is regulated in such a way that learners of all categories of mopeds and motorcycles can be trained while on the road network.

This means that they can be accompanied and under the direct supervision of a licensed driving instructor.

The amendment also dictates that mopeds and motorcycle drivers who are riding while working, such as when distributing food or documents, must, in addition to the protective helmet, also carry additional protective equipment, such as an airbag for motorcyclists.

In his statements, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos welcomed the passing of the amending bill, stating that “we now have at our disposal an excellent tool, which we will use to promote, promote and inform road safety issues”.

“Now in every advertisement, television, radio, digital, print or other, which is related to the purchase of vehicles and the consumption of alcohol, a relevant message about road safety will also necessarily be included,” he added.

The minister explained that by enforcing this rule, the public will be further exposed to road safety messages and other pieces of communication.

“The first decree will be issued in January 2023 after a relevant consultation in December,” Karousos said.

“I would like to thank the chairman of the parliamentary committee on transport, Marinos Moushiouttas, as well as the committee’s members, for their cooperation and support of the bill,” the minister concluded.

Source: Mandatory road-safety messages to be included in ads for cars and alcohol | Cyprus Mail

36 people have died so far this year in traffic accidents | Cyprus Mail

Thirty-six people have died in traffic accidents since the start of the year, police confirmed on Tuesday, despite the introduction of traffic cameras.

Limassol recorded the largest number of deaths at 13 in comparison to last year, when for the whole of the year it was seven. In Nicosia the numbers from last year, which were 14, almost halved to eight for 2022.

Paphos and Larnaca have so far recorded the same number of road deaths as last year with four and six respectively.

In the Famagusta area a total of five have died in comparison to last year, when the number was six, while in Morphou no deaths have been recorded, whereas last year there was one.

The total number of 36 resulted from 34 crashes, in relation to 44 fatal crashes throughout 2021 that caused 45 deaths.

Last year most victims were drivers or passengers (23 in total), while a large portion of the dead were motorcyclists and moped riders, since of the total of 45 deaths, 14 were bike riders. Also, six people who died last year were pedestrians, while one e-scooter and one cyclist also died.

Meanwhile, in a report published in Phileleftheros, a traffic police source said that results from the installation of dozens of traffic cameras will be visible next year, when an expected decrease in the number of deaths should be recorded.


Source: 36 people have died so far this year in traffic accidents | Cyprus Mail

New bill would see police officers kitted out with cameras | Cyprus Mail

Υπό δρακόντεια μέτρα ασφάλειας και φορώντας αλεξίσφαιρο γιλέκο οδηγήθηκε, εκ νέου σήμερα, στο Επαρχιακό Δικαστήριο Λεμεσού, ο Ηλίας Μούζος.

Police officers will be kitted out with cameras, or ‘body cams’ as they are more widely known, while plainclothes officers would also be allowed to record, under a new bill submitted to parliament.

The bill is to now be reviewed by the House legal affairs committee, with the stated aim being for the protection of the public and the officers themselves.

As it stands, the bill sets out some criteria for officers to start recording although the language is vague and there is wide scope for its use.

The bill states that officers will be free to record while carrying out their duties if they feel that it will protect them from physical or verbal attacks, as well as from unsubstantiated allegations.

It also aims to protect the public from potential arbitrary use of power from officers, while also improving evidence-gathering during investigations.

Recording can take place during the search and or arrest, during the pursuit of a person, when conducting high risk operations and during riots or mass gatherings disturbing public order.

The listed provisions and restrictions for its use include that a person be informed, when and where possible, that they are being recorded. Continued use of the camera for extended periods is not permitted, according to the bill and the recording will cease once the incident for which it was operated is over.

Recording sensitive parts of a person during a search is not permitted.

It is also stated that the recordings will be securely stored so as not to be tampered with, leaked, or any other potential misuse.

Recordings which are not useful or related to an investigation are to be deleted within 30 days at the latest.

Body cams worn by police are used in most countries to some extent.

Source: New bill would see police officers kitted out with cameras | Cyprus Mail

Photo exhibition of car wrecks aims to raise road-safety awareness | Cyprus Mail

Photos from fatal car accidents will go on display at the road safety park in Nicosia starting Sunday to raise awareness among the public, it was announced on Saturday.

The initiative is part of cooperation between police and the Cyprus News Agency.

The exhibition is part of the annual ‘Police Week’. Each accident photo will be displayed with the dates and ages of the victims involved.

Police selected a total of 12 pictures in coordination with the photography association ‘Orasis’, which also edited some of the pictures.

In just the first half of 2022, a total of 25 people died in traffic accidents, according to police statistics published every six months.  Police only publish the stats twice yearly.

Since June however, there have been several more road deaths, the latest one being a 76-year-old Briton who died after being hit by a car, while crossing the street in Peyia on Wednesday.

“Traffic awareness is required behind the wheel and through this exhibition we are trying to raise awareness among the public who will visit during the ‘Police Week’ event on Sunday,” Police Spokesman, Christos Andreou said.

He added that on Sunday, the exhibit will be open for the public, and that the rest of the week until November 11, students will be attending informative sessions in coordination with the education ministry.

“We are expecting 800 to 850 children from year five in primary school to third year lyceum students, age groups that are of immediate interest to us, so that they can learn about the police’s role, and we can attempt to cement road safety to them,” he said.

During Police Week events, members of the force showcase their equipment and police. There will also be activities for small children.

There will be exhibition stands of various police departments and services, staffed by their members, who will provide advice and other information about the tasks they perform, while informative material will also be available.

Justice Minister Stephi Dracou and Police Chief Stelios Paptheodorou will open the event on Sunday at 11:30am.

Source: Photo exhibition of car wrecks aims to raise road-safety awareness | Cyprus Mail