As the Cyprus traffic camera network is set to expand with another 20 stationary and 16 mobile cameras to be installed over six months, the system is still bogged down by an excess backlog of over 100,000 fines.
As reported by Phileleftheros daily, since going live in January and up to 17 August, 118,056 violations were recorded, with around half (60,000) fines being processed.
The network’s rollout has already been delayed several months after the due date of 1 April, as operators find themselves overwhelmed with a backlog of fines and technical glitches.
Latest reports now have the next set of cameras being added to the system early next year, with critics of the system concerned over operators’ capabilities to cope with more violations.
In comments to Phileleftheros, the assistant director of the Police Traffic Department, Charis Evripidou, said the system’s US operators, Conduent State & Local Solutions, have committed to complying with a contract clause foreseeing that fines should be sent out within five days.
Evripidou said the holdup is down to red tape glitches.
One is many offenders in company vehicles, for which the police have asked for legal advice from the Attorney General.
As advised, fines will be sent to the companies involved, which will have to inform operators who the driver was.
The second glitch involves offending motorists who are holders of a foreign driving license, for whom there are no contact details in the Department of Road Transport systems.
Around 10,000 fines are invalid as they were recorded during test runs carried out by mobile cameras or the vehicle’s number plates were not visible.
Meanwhile, the company will prepare a statistical survey regarding the violations.
Officer Pavlos Loizou, monitoring the traffic camera system on behalf of the police, said the survey would identify the type of offences, their frequency, the type of vehicles involved and other data that will help the police streamline the operation of the cameras.
The Department of Public Works will begin, in consultation with the company, the Traffic Police and the Cyprus Telecommunication Authority (CyTA), preparing the infrastructure for installing the 20 fixed cameras at four busy junctions, three in Nicosia and one in Limassol.
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.
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.
So far this year, 28 people have lost their lives in 26 road accidents, compared to 23 deaths from 22 accidents in 2021.