By Andria Kades
Around 17,000 traffic violations recorded on the two sole cameras in Nicosia are outstanding with some drivers waiting months to be notified of their fines.
“We do not have the staff to deal with this,” deputy traffic police chief Filipos Papaellinas told state radio CyBC. “Everyone is exerting efforts but we believe we are doing well.”
A total of 53,821 traffic violations have been recorded on the two traffic cameras in the capital, he said with just over 45,000 concerning Nicosia residents.
So far 27,898 have been processed and 17,113 are outstanding.
Although there are several options being discussed Papaellinas did not rule out the possibility of paying officers overtime – reportedly €3 per fine – but the situation is bound to escalate as by the end of the year 110 cameras are to be rolled out.
Of these, 90 will be stationary and 20 will be mobile, meaning a much larger workload for police.
Another possibility is assessing whether a separate body can take over processing with police supervision. There are legal ramifications as to how this could work as for instance, should the investor handling the cameras resort to processing the fines this would mean a private individual was fining citizens – a legal grey area.
“A private investor can’t just hand out fines,” Papaellinas said adding that the justice and transport ministry in conjunction with other services were looking into it.
Nevertheless he said he was pleased as during a week-long campaign last week there were 531 reports of people not wearing seatbelts, a number that although is considerably high, is far lower compared to previous figures.