Traffic cameras at ‘high-risk’ junctions

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Cyprus will increase its traffic camera network, with mobile and fixed cameras installed at accident blackspots and frequent speed limit violations.

In comments to Phileleftheros daily, the assistant director of the Police Traffic Department, Charis Evripidou, said the location of the latest additions to the camera network would be announced once installed.

Authorities expect another 20 stationary and 16 mobile cameras to be installed within the next six months, to add to the four stationary and four mobile cameras already monitoring Cyprus’ roads.

Evripidou said all roads monitored by fixed or mobile cameras would be marked appropriately and in accordance with the relevant legislation.

The new fixed cameras will be placed at high-risk locations based on data collected regarding fatal and serious traffic collisions.

Most concern intersections where many violations are observed, including running a red light and speeding.

Mobile cameras are positioned where needed throughout the road network.

“The Police prepare the schedule, and the points and time are selected taking into account the risk of causing fatal and serious traffic collisions and excessive speeding, which can again lead to causing serious and fatal traffic collisions,” said Evripidou.

Authorities are monitoring the company handling the traffic camera system to ensure trained professionals in compliance with regulations handle the system.

On criticism that mobile cameras are placed in blind spots without warning signs, Evripidou said such signs are obligatory.

He said they should be placed at least 100 metres to a maximum of 5 km before the point where the camera is set up.

He noted that officers carry out frequent checks to ensure that warning signs are up.

Highway code

Evripidou added that motorists should comply with the Highway Code and not wait to see a sign or a police car before slowing down to speeds within the limit.

“Besides, there are warning signs everywhere.”

He clarified that the system’s purpose is solely to reduce fatal and serious traffic collisions and not to collect money in fines.

Evripidou also said that several incidents of harassment toward camera operators had been recorded.

“Complaints have been filed with the Police, and the cases are being investigated. Instructions were given to speed up investigations, and the perpetrators identified will be brought before a court of law.”

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.

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.

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

So far this year, 28 people have lost their lives in 26 road accidents, compared to 23 deaths from 22 accidents in 2021.