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Campaign against using mobiles at the wheel

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Since the beginning of the year, there have been 26 fatal road accidents in Cyprus, resulting in 28 deaths, with nine primarily attributed to careless driving and distraction, said Justice Minister Anna Koukkides-Procopiou.

At a press conference for the road safety awareness campaign “Eyes on the Road – The Phone Can Wait,” the minister stressed the urgent need for action, citing 7,331 formal complaints about mobile phone use in 2022 and 6,367 since January 2023.

She highlighted the critical role of attention distraction in road accidents and urged public awareness about the dangers of mobile phone usage while driving.

“A moment of attention distraction can have serious consequences,” said Koukkides-Procopiou.

She said drivers use their mobile phones while waiting at traffic lights, talking, sending messages, looking at social media, or even taking selfies.

“Drivers often underestimate the danger, thinking they can manage the situation.

“This is a risk because a few seconds of attention distraction is equivalent to a blind journey of 70 metres when moving at a speed of 50 km/h.”

Minister of Transport Alexis Vafeadis said that one in ten drivers use their mobile phone while driving.

In urban areas, where the highest volume of road accidents and pedestrian traffic is observed, this percentage rises to approximately one in nine drivers using a mobile phone while driving.

“In specific vehicle categories, such as light trucks, the percentage on weekdays is even higher, reaching approximately one in seven drivers.”

Regarding the Strategic Road Safety Plan for 2021-2030, the minister stated the goal is “to reduce road fatalities and injuries by 50% by 2030, following the objectives of the European Union, which has adopted the ‘Vision Zero,’ our long-term goal with a milestone in 2050”.