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Cyprus

There’s no escaping EU fines any more

By Constantinos Psillides

EUROPEAN drivers will no longer be able to escape fines for traffic violations committed in EU countries other than their own.

The Ministry of Communication and Works submitted to the House a law amendment that requires all cars and personal data of their owners to be registered in the EUCARIS database that is accessible by police from every EU country and would help identify the offender’s country of origin.

Subsequently, the EU country will contact the offender via mail and ask that he pays the fine for the traffic violation committed while in that country.

According to the amendment, the EUCARIS databank will be used for speeding, not wearing a seat belt, running a red light, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not wearing a motorcycle helmet, using a mobile phone or any other device while driving, and driving on the opposite lane.

The amendment was introduced to the plenum on Thursday and sent for discussion to the House Legal Affairs committee.

DIKO MP Antonis Antoniou, who chairs the Communication Committee but is also a member of the Legal Affairs Committee, told the Cyprus Mail that the amendment would be discussed after the Easter holidays.

“We haven’t got around to discussing it but we most definitely will since it raises a number of issues” Antoniou said, explaining that there might be a problem when it comes to protecting personal data.

“We are planning to invite the Commissioner for Personal Data for his input. We will hear what he has to say and then proceed with adjusting the EU law into our legislature”.

Asked if the Committee will propose major changes to the amendment and whether that would be accepted by the EU, Antoniou replied that this kind of legislature often includes elements that are not mandatory. “But, we haven’t got around to it yet. We will read it thoroughly and decide how to best incorporate it into Cyprus law”, he said.

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