Cyprus step closer to re-installing speed cameras

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Cyprus is edging closer to reinstating speed cameras after dismantling the national traffic camera network in 2007 due to technical and legal hiccups, as authorities plan to launch the system in October.

MPs on Thursday will examine two bills, allowing private company US-based Conduent State and Local Solutions Inc to operate the system and issue tickets to offending motorists.

MPs will be taking a first look at two bills to be presented on Thursday by the Transport Ministry.

The project will be implemented in three phases, with 90 fixed cameras installed at 30 locations to monitor red light and stop sign violations.

They will also be tracking for speeding motorists, while the police will deploy a further 20 mobile units in targeted campaigns or rural areas.

If all goes to plan, Conduent State will launch a pilot phase on 25 October, starting with four mobile and four fixed cameras at one location, with the rest installed in two more phases.

Authorities have installed the four fixed cameras at the busy Grivas Digheni and Dimosthenis Severis junction in Nicosia.

On Tuesday, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos inspected the site at the busy Nicosia junction where the first four-speed cameras will operate.

On Twitter, Karousos said he visited the site with the director of the department of electrical and mechanical Services, Markos Markou, to assess the installation, reaffirming the system will go live in October.

The next phase will see another 16 mobile and 20 fixed traffic cameras, and the final phase will have the remaining 66 fixed cameras installed within a 12-month period.

The programme will be completed in about two years.

The €34 mln project has Cyprus Police feeling confident the re-introduction of speed cameras will help to reduce road accident-related deaths.

The cameras will monitor speed violations, motorists not wearing a seat belt, motorcyclists not wearing helmets, the use of mobile phones whilst driving, and drivers not complying with the traffic light system.

When Cyprus introduced speed cameras in 12 locations, road accidents were reportedly reduced by about 54%.

Traffic cameras were first introduced in 2007, but technical and legal issues over the ownership of the platform and collection of fines forced the government to switch off the system.

As an EU member, Cyprus has adopted the European target of a 50% reduction in road fatalities and a 50% reduction in serious injuries within 2021-2030.

According to police officials, the fines for offences monitored by the speed camera network will be as follows:

  • Speeding fines will be issued according to the excess speed
  • Not complying with the traffic light system: €300 and three penalty points
  • Not stopping before the designated line at a junction: €25
  • Not wearing a seatbelt: €150 and three penalty points
  • Using a mobile phone whilst driving: €150 and two penalty points
  • Not wearing a protective helmet whilst driving a motorcycle: €200 and three penalty points