New speed cams snap 1,700 daily violations

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Newly introduced speed cameras are recording a whooping 1,700 traffic violations a day, as Cypriot motorists happily flout the highway code.

The high number of violations is only recorded by four cameras at a busy Nicosia junction, and four mobile cameras are set up at different locations.

As the traffic camera network is still in a pilot phase, only eight cameras have come online.

According to traffic data quoted by Phileleftheros daily, 50% of traffic violations are speeding, while the rest are crossing a red light or violation of stop signs.

The system has yet to start processing photos of drivers for violations such as not wearing a seatbelt or talking on a phone whilst driving.

Until the end of the year, offending motorists will not be issued a ticket but instead be sent a warning.

However, no warnings have been sent out to offending motorists.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos told Phileleftheros this is because the Commission for Personal Data Protection has not yet approved the agreement between the police and the contractor for the management of private information.

Once this is done, the contractor handling the system will also be sending out warnings to motorists.

Karousos believes from 1 January, when fines will be issued, motorists will comply to a greater degree.

A traffic camera network returned on 25 October, 14 years after the previous scheme was dismantled due to legal hiccups.

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.

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.

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

Cyprus has adopted the EU target of a 50% reduction in road fatalities and a 50% reduction in serious injuries by 2030.

Meanwhile, the death of a 50-year-old man on Wednesday draws 2021 closer to the 48 deaths in 2020, as road accident-related deaths have reached 39 this year.