Road death toll worsens

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Fatal accidents are rising this year, with 13 people losing their lives on Cyprus roads, increasing 62.5% compared to the same period last year when eight died.

The latest victim was a 19-year-old man from Limassol who died on Sunday night after losing control of the car he was driving on the Limassol-Paphos highway near the village of Ypsonas.

Just days before, a 46-year-old Swedish woman on holiday with her five-year-old daughter lost her life at an Ayia Napa pedestrian crossing after being hit by a beach buggy.

On Wednesday, a 10-year-old girl is in a serious condition following a crash on Emba Avenue in Paphos.

So far, 13 people have lost their lives in 12 road accidents with authorities concerned, as a worrying trend is building up.

Last year, Cyprus had mourned 45 road deaths, three less than the 48 who lost their lives in 2020.

The number of deaths in the past two years was high, considering that 2021 and 2020 were marked by four lockdowns and restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to police data, the number of fatal accidents involving motorcyclists has decreased, while most fatal road accidents did not involve a second vehicle.

The number one cause of fatal accidents in Cyprus last year was reckless driving, with 20%.

One of the saddening facts recorded this year is that nine of the 13 dead were aged between 14 and 39.

The number of pedestrians on the list of victims since 2020 is 21 people.

Cyprus has recently introduced a traffic camera network to clamp down on road accidents and traffic violations.

With just eight cameras up and running, four fixed at a busy Nicosia junction, and four mobile, out of a planned 110, the €34 mln system has yet to pay off.

Authorities are hoping the network will soon bear results, as 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.