Traffic camera rollout after lengthy delay

2 mins read

Cyprus’ traffic camera network moves out of its pilot phase after being bogged down by an excess backlog of fines and complaints, with another 20 stationary and 16 mobile cameras to be installed within the next six months.

The network’s stage one rollout comes several months after the due date of April 1, as operators found themselves overwhelmed with a backlog of fines and technical glitches.

The Department of Electromechanical Services of the Ministry of Transport said Tuesday the pilot phase with four mobile cameras and four stationary ones has been completed.

The network operators Conduent State & Local Solutions will be proceeding to the next phase of the rollout after being hit with criticism over having difficulty processing the thousands of violations pilling up since January 1, when the system went live.

The system was switched on at the end of October, with four stationary cameras at a busy Nicosia junction and four mobile ones, with motorists given a grace period until the end of 2021.

The first stage was to be implemented in April, but a hefty backlog of fines and complaints from motorists claiming to have been handed bigger fines than regulated dogged the rollout.

From October until June 2022, it had recorded 90,000 violations, with some drivers not receiving their fines for months after the offence occurred.

There were also difficulties in identifying drivers and cross-referencing their details across government databases, and linking them to the correct address.

Earlier in June, the government had handed out a warning to the operators to clear the backlog of thousands of fines.

It was reported that some 15,000 fines were yet to be sent out by the company.

There have also been floods of complaints from the public, who eventually received their fines.

Motorists claimed they are being fined for simply touching the white line at intersections once the light has gone red, even if the vehicle had not crossed over.

In some cases, motorists were handed a €300 fine instead of the regulated €25.

The 20 new stationary cameras are to be installed at 4 busy junctions in Nicosia and two in Limassol.

In Nicosia they will be placed on the following junctions:

– Troodos and Constantinopoleos Avenues

– Spyros Kyprianou, Digenis Akritas and Archbishop Makarios Avenues

– Archbishop Kyprianou of Armenias Avenues

– Prodromos Avenue

In Limassol

-Archbishop Makarios with Nikos Pattichis Avenues

– Ayias Fylaxeos with Gladstonos Avenues

The four fixed cameras already in operation are located 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.

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.

Some 21 people lost their lives in 19 Cyprus road accidents, compared to 14 deaths from 13 accidents last year.