Cyprus’ newly introduced traffic camera network operators cannot clear a backlog of 45,000 fines while offenders complain of being slapped with excessive penalties.
So far, the four fixed cameras at a busy junction in the capital and another four mobile cameras had recorded over 60,000 offences since 1 January when the system went live, with just 15,000 penalties sent out.
The traffic camera operators, Conduent State & Local Solutions, are having difficulty processing tens of thousands of violations pilling up.
Delays in clearing the backlog have already frozen the rollout of more cameras.
Cyprus’ traffic camera network was to be boosted with 16 more mobile and 20 fixed cameras installed in April, but plans were put on ice with a backlog of this size.
Last month, the firm had committed to sending out all fines by the end of May to launch the second phase of the network in June.
Quoted by Phileleftheros daily, Deputy traffic chief Harris Evripidou said the operating company had hired more staff, and thousands more penalty notices have been processed.
Evripidou confirmed that complaints have been flowing in from drivers claiming they have been handed a higher fine than the designated penalty for their offence.
Most complaints submitted to the management company concern offences recorded by the four fixed cameras.
Motorists claim they were handed a €300 fine for encroaching beyond the stop line when the fine should be €25.
Driving schools claim that the fixed cameras report apprentice drivers for crossing the stop line.
Driving instructors argue that authorities should be more lenient with learners as their driving skills are still being shaped.
Police say they cannot consent to their demand as it would trigger more requests for leniency.
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 the busy Nicosia junction of Grivas Digheni and Demosthenis Severis Avenues.
Once the €34 mln system is fully operational, there will be 90 fixed units in 30 locations and 20 mobile cameras, which police will determine their place of operation.