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Speedster on cocaine first to lose license under tougher regime

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A 33-year-old driver caught speeding while on cocaine is the first person to lose his license under a new regime of zero tolerance of reckless behaviour on Cyprus roads.

Two motorists charged with excessive speeding and driving under the influence of drugs are the first to face tougher sanctions under a new government crackdown against irresponsible drivers.

One driver has already lost his license before going to court to face further punishment, while the other case of speeding is under review.

According to the chief of Cyprus Traffic Police Yiannis Georgiou, one of the offending motorists was driving at a top speed of 180 km per hour on the Larnaca-Paralimni highway.

He told Phileleftheros the 23-year-old male driver was arrested after he posted a video of himself on social media going at speed.

The other driver, 33, was caught speeding and failed a narcotest after he was found to have cocaine in his system. His license was revoked on Tuesday, officials said.

He is the first to be immediately stripped of his driving license without a court ruling.

Following a decision of Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos and Justice Minister George Savvides, motorists driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in their system or driving at excessive speeds will be deprived of their license.

Karousos said instructions were given to the Road Transport Department to revoke serious offenders’ licenses upon being informed by the police.

According to existing legislation, the Motor Vehicle Registrar has the power to suspend or cancel a driver’s license and the affected person may file an appeal within 14 days.

If it is rejected, then the offending driver will lose his license and sent back to driving school.

In the case of drivers under the influence of drugs, they will be referred to a medical board to decide on their ability to obtain a new driver’s license after rehabilitation.

The tougher regime announced after a meeting the two ministers had with the Road Safety Council on Friday, where they were presented with worrying evidence regarding road accident-related deaths.

Cyprus road deaths increased last year while the authorities are trying to significantly reduce fatalities.