Newly introduced speed cameras recorded 500 violations in two hours on a busy Nicosia junction as authorities re-establish a traffic camera network 14 years after the previous scheme was dismantled due to legal hiccups.
No offending motorist will be receiving a fine as the four cameras set up at a busy Nicosia junction on Grivas Digheni, and Demosthenis Severis Avenues were part of a pilot programme launched to test the new network.
From the New Year 2022, motorists violating the highway code will be sent tickets to their homes.
At the moment, the Transport Ministry is running a pilot scheme with a set of four Nicosia traffic cameras along with four mobile cameras at undisclosed locations.
On Twitter, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said the four cameras at the busy Nicosia junction went live on Tuesday, recording more than 500 traffic violations in just two hours.
In comments to Phileleftheros daily, Karousos said that following a large number of violations, the ministry has decided to give a two-month grace period to motorists, allowing them to get familiar with the system.
The system will go online on Monday 25 October, but fines to offending motorists, however, as the minister said, will now be sent as of 1 January 2022.
From Monday and until January, motorists violating the highway code will be sent warnings through the post but not fines or penalty points.
Some motorists have reported seeing a flashing light go off as they went past the traffic lights at the busy Nicosia junction, while others have noticed a flash from mobile cameras set at the sides of other busy roads.
The Transport Ministry has confirmed to the Financial Mirror that authorities have set up some mobile cameras across the island’s road network, also recording many traffic violations.
The ministry said it would be organising awareness campaigns, informing motorists about the violations to be recorded by traffic cameras.
Cameras will monitor speed violations, motorists not wearing a seat belt, motorcyclists not wearing crash helmets, the use of mobile phones whilst driving, and drivers not complying with the traffic light system.
The project will be implemented in three phases, with 90 fixed cameras installed at 30 locations to monitor red light and stop sign violations.
During the first six months, 20 fixed and 16 mobile cameras will be installed, with an additional 66 cameras in the third stage in the following 12 months.
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 reduce road accident-related deaths.
When Cyprus introduced speed cameras in 12 locations, road accidents were 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 by 2030.
According to police, 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