Cyprus police are preparing a digital application-linked data platform containing the details of drivers caught breaking traffic rules by speed cameras to track down offenders.
In comments to the Financial Mirror, the acting head of the Police Traffic Department, Charis Evripidou, confirmed the force has commissioned the creation of an application to be used at airports, ports, and services such as paying road tax.
The application will also be available to public-facing officers, catering to citizen requests.
Evripidou explained that officers’ biggest problem has been locating offending drivers.
A small percentage of these drivers pick up their fine notices but do not pay them.
“These cases will be taken to court.
“We have already started to file cases of people who have not come forward to pay their fines,” said Evripidou.
“However, our biggest obstacle is locating offending motorists, as databases are outdated.
“We are now looking into ways to overcome people’s unwillingness to collect fines or outdated addresses”.
Offending motorists receive registered letters to pick up their out-of-court notices from their local post office.
Some letters sent out don’t reach their recipients due to wrong addresses, or offenders choose to ignore them.
One scenario under consideration is the linkage of fines to vehicle registration permits.
“This will help in updating databases.
“It will also mean that when drivers try to renew their licenses or pay their road tax, they will need to settle any outstanding penalties,” said Evripidou.
Additionally, measures are being contemplated to streamline the out-of-court notice process, potentially involving direct notifications via SMS or email.
Police want to warn offenders that not paying their fines will eventually work against them.
“Following six months of failed attempts by officers to locate the offender, the force has the right to file the case with courts.
“Eventually, the offender will be tracked down by court bailiffs.
“If the case goes to court, expenses will increase tenfold, as the offender will have to pay for a lawyer and court fees”.
In October, Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades revealed that approximately 178,000 fines have been issued since the camera system’s implementation in January.
Some 92,000 fines have been paid, and 12,000 have been served but unpaid, with the remainder pending collection due to people’s unwillingness to pick up fine notices from their local post office.
Authorities are installing a multimillion-euro traffic camera system to reduce road deaths.
So far, authorities have completed Phase A of the newly introduced camera system and are moving on to the second stage, which includes installing another 24 fixed cameras in seven locations; another 16 mobile cameras will be received by the end of 2023.
Once the €34 mln system is fully operational, there will be 90 fixed units in 30 locations and 20 mobile camera vans.