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Cyprus introduces tougher traffic fines

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Cyprus motorists committing traffic offences will pay heftier fines from Thursday when new penalties are introduced for speeding, drink-driving, not wearing a crash helmet or seat belt, and using your phone at the wheel.

Amended legislation approved by MPs in July, will see offenders digging deep into their pockets as fines double for parking in a disabled spot.

Driving without a seatbelt will cost offenders €150, with the same fine applying for drivers who are caught using their mobile phone while driving.

Fines for both offences are currently €85 but increase to €300 if there is a second offence within three years.

MPs also included an €85 fine for driving without both hands on the wheel or holding any other object other than a phone.

Fines for cyclists not wearing a helmet go up from the current €85 to €200 and then €300 for a second violation.

The fine for parking in a spot reserved for the disabled will rise from €85 to €300, the same for drivers who run a red light.

Parking on a double yellow line or on the pavement will cost the offender €100.

The new law will see speedsters fined up to €5 for each kilometre they are caught over the limit.

Offenders caught breaking the speed limit by up to 30% will be fined €2 for every kilometre, up to 50% €3, and 75% with €5.

Drivers violating the speed limit by more than 75% will be sent to court.

Drink driving

A similar system is applied to drivers found driving under the influence of alcohol.

Motorists who are found to be over the 22 μg / 100ml limit but under 35 μg / 100ml will be fined €125 and one penalty point.

Offenders found above the 35μg / 100ml up to 55 will receive a €250 fine and three penalty points and those with an alcohol concentration in their blood exceeding 55 μg but under 70 μg will have to dish out €500 and receive 5 penalty points.

Any offenders found driving under the influence of alcohol with a concentration higher than 70 μg (three times the legal limit) will automatically go to court.

In all drink-driving cases, the vehicle will be impounded.

Licenses are revoked when a driver hits 12 penalty point limit.

Fleeing the scene of an accident could see the offender imprisoned for a maximum 5 years and/or fine not exceeding €15,000 and their driving license revoked for 2 years from the date of conviction.

Penalties for reckless driving start at 6 months imprisonment and/or fine of €1,500, reaching 2 years imprisonment and/or fine of €6,000 in case of injury inflicted on a person.

The increased fines are part of a raft of tough new measures to bring down the high number of road-related deaths.

Cyprus police will also be lowering its speeding limit tolerance as of Thursday.

Motorists taking advantage of a 20% police tolerance on speeding over the limit will have to make new calculations, the Transport Ministry decided.

The ministry’s Road Safety council has approved new guidelines instructing traffic police to drop their tolerance down to 10% plus 2 kilometres per hour in certain speed zones.

This would mean that a vehicle going 58 kilometres or faster in a 50kph zone in urban and rural settings could also be fined.

Currently, a 20% speed tolerance on such roads means that car moving up to 62kph would not be stopped for speeding.

In the case of roads with a 65 km/h limit, motorists who go 74 and higher will be ticketed under the new rules.

However, police officers will still tolerate motorists exceeding the speed limit on motorways (100 km/h) by up to 20%.

Cyprus has recorded 32 road deaths this year, despite the country being on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic for almost three months.

According to the latest data from Eurostat, Cyprus has 67 deaths per 1 million inhabitants with the island recording more road deaths per one million inhabitants than the EU average of 51.