Heftier fines for bad drivers from July

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Cyprus MPs are set to vote in a new law in July which punishes motorists committing traffic offences with heftier fines and jail time.

The House Transport Committee had been working on a bill tabled by the government which introduces bigger increases in fines for offending drivers and prepared its own proposals.

MPs have essentially decided to introduce a “second chance” for offending motorists before they are hit with the heavier fines proposed by the government.

The first fine will be milder but if the driver repeats the offence within 12 months, then they will receive the bigger fine proposed by the government.

The bill includes escalated penalties for speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol. Despite the ‘second chance’ provision MPs embodied in the bill, offenders committing a combination of offences, or using drugs will face jail time.

Parliament has suggested the following:

  • Mobile phone use: The existing fine stands at €85 and will increase to €150 but if there is a second offence committed within a period of one year, then the offender will have to pay a fine of €300.
  • Not wearing a seat belt: The current penalty is €85 and will be increased to €150 for the first offence and then increased to €300 if repeated.
  • Not wearing a crash helmet on a motorbike: The current penalty is €85 and will become €200 for a first offence and increased to €300 for a second offence.
  • Parking in a spot reserved for disabled drivers: The current penalty is €85 it could increase to €150. Here MPs decided to show no tolerance.

MPs are undecided when it comes to fines for speeding. The government’s bill wants speeding fines significantly increased by five-fold.

This would see speedsters fined €5 instead of €1 for every km/h over the speed limit.

MPs seem to be in agreement that as far as the 100 Km/h speed limit is concerned, police officers should ignore drivers travelling under 120 Km/h.

According to the government’s proposal, penalties regarding drink driving are to go up according to the driver’s alcohol intake.

Fines will begin from €125 (up from €100) if the driver is tested with results indicating 22μg / 100ml – 35μg / 100ml range.

If the case goes to court, then the penalty imposed increases from €1,000 to €1,500 and/or 3 months imprisonment, while the driver will be penalised with 3-4 penalty points from 0-2.

Maximum fines could reach €5,000 with the driver jailed for up to a year.

Road deaths

Meanwhile, and despite lockdown measures, the number of road-related deaths in Cyprus during March and April has risen by 30%, reaching 13 compared to 10 for the same period last year.

Previous reports had the number at 14, but a 62-year-old man who was found dead after driving his motorcycle into a ditch was found to have died from a heart attack.

During checks performed by the police in the context of maintaining lockdown decrees, officers had found many drivers talking on the phone whilst driving.

Meanwhile, 22 May is the last date for tender bids for the long-awaited speed cameras network.

The cost of installation, operation and maintenance project is estimated at €47,800,000, which is expected to draw in a number of bidders.