Cyprus’ newly introduced speed camera network has caught over 5,000 offending drivers in the first nine days since officially penalising motorists from 1 January.
The network was introduced on 25 October, but authorities decided to impose a grace period before sending out tickets to offenders.
As of Sunday, 5,222 tickets have been issued to offending motorists caught by eight traffic cameras installed as part of a wider network.
There are currently four fixed and four mobile cameras while it is expected that gradually 90 fixed and 20 mobile ones will be introduced over three years.
The four fixed cameras are at a busy Nicosia junction on Grivas Digheni and Demosthenis Severis Avenues.
In the early stages of the pilot program, the four fixed cameras were recording some 80 violations per hour.
Officials appear to be satisfied with the cameras, noting that despite the high number of traffic offences, police are encouraged by the significant drop since they were introduced.
In comments to Phileleftheros daily, assistant traffic police chief Charis Evripidou said: “The increased compliance of the drivers shows the usefulness of the cameras, and it enhances our belief the network will lead to a reduction in road accidents”.
Evripidou clarified that the goal is to comply with the Highway Code and not collect money from fines.
The four mobile cameras recorded about 1,200 driver violations during the pilot program per day.
He said the first out-of-court tickets are expected to be sent in the following days by registered mail.
Once the drivers have been identified and notified, they will have 30 days to pay the fine from the day they received notification.
The owner of the vehicle will be notified, and in the case, someone else was at the wheel at the time of the offence, they will have 15 days to point out the driver.
If the offending driver fails to pay the fine within 30 days, it will increase by 50%, and they will then have another 15 days to pay before the case goes to court.
The second phase of installing the traffic camera network starts on 25 January, with another 20 fixed cameras being installed, while 16 more mobile cameras are also expected to be added within the following six months.
Once the €34 mln system is fully operational, there will be a total of 90 fixed cameras at 30 locations across the island, while another 20 mobile cameras will be at officers’ disposal.
When Cyprus introduced speed cameras in 12 locations in 2007, road accidents were reduced by over 50%.
Traffic cameras were first introduced 14 years ago, but technical and legal issues over the ownership of the platform and collection of fines forced the government to switch them off.
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 cameras are:
- Speeding fines issued according to excess speed (i.e., up to 30% above the limit: €2/km and 1-3 penalty points)
- 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