It is true that if one finds himself on the roads of Cyprus, he will be negatively impressed if not disappointed by the behaviour of his fellow drivers.
The total lack of respect towards other drivers, the lack of driving education and most importantly the lack of police supervision surely need to be addressed.
In the cities, drivers park almost anywhere. One can observe cars parked on pavements obstructing the passage of any pedestrian, let alone people with disabilities, obstructing other traffic and even placing other drivers in danger.
They will also block exits of homes and other buildings and they show no respect whatsoever to no parking signs nor they would respect the parking positions of disabled people.
These drivers are also using their mobile phones continuously, they do not secure children or other passengers or even themselves with the equipment such as baby seats or seat belts and they do not take any safety precautions whatsoever. At the same time they seem to be in a constant competition between them on who is going to get there first, even if the destination is the shop or the petrol station.
They do not respect any signs such as stop signs or even one-way signs and they do jump right in front of other cars from the side streets. Speeding in the cities is a hobby for everyone and using the car’s horn is a sport. Red lights do not necessarily mean stop for some.
On the highways and in the main roads outside the cities drivers speed too much, they overtake from the wrong direction or dangerously on curves, they enter or exit the highways without following the basic rules and in the evenings they do not dim their lights in order to facilitate others to see where they are going.
Only recently, the government announced that they will increase the fines for different offences to amounts that surprised the public and people started complaining. From 85 euros for parking on a yellow line, not wearing a seat belt or using a mobile phone, the fine will now be 300 euros and for any speeding ticket drivers will pay as much as five times the fines. If you were caught doing 80 instead of 50 you would pay 40 euros without going to court, now you will pay 250. Also you will be charged three points in your license instead of two.
Maybe the fines should be even bigger than those suggested just to teach drivers a lesson or make them a bit more cautious.
The questions however remain.
Who is going to enforce the law?
Will the unsocial mentality of these drivers change?
I don’t think so. Do you?
Fanos Droushiotis, via email