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Pressure builds for mandatory towing for parking violations

The paraplegics association on Thursday sent a letter to the House transport committee requesting the resumption of discussions on a bill which provides for the towing of vehicles that are illegally parked in disabled spaces and pavements.

The bill was tabled by former EDEK MP Roula Mavronicola and has been pending before the committee since the first discussion on the text which took place in May 2015.

The association said towing should be mandatory in private parking places – malls, shops, hotels, apartment buildings, private hospitals – and not just in public areas.

It said that currently a ruling from the attorney-general was pending as regards the interpretation of ‘public road’, and whether it could include private areas that are used by the public such as a mall car park

The House transport committee is expected to have its hands full, as another group, non-profit road safety organisation REACTION, asked them on Thursday, to discuss the enforcement of stricter policing as regards illegal parking as an important measure to tackle road accidents.

A letter addressed to the committee, police chief Zacharias Chrysostomou, mayors, the head of REACTION and vice president of the Pan-European Youth Forum for Road Safety, Marios Stavrou, said that it was unacceptable that the pavements in an EU member state are occupied by vehicles. This, he said, forces pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, parents with prams, disabled persons, and the elderly to use the street instead. Illegal parking, Stavrou said, is an important factor contributing to road accidents particularly in crowded city areas.

He also urged the police and municipal traffic police to respond promptly to citizens’ reports of such cases, as “such acts of conscienceless drivers constitute a direct risk for every user of the road network”.

He added that tougher penalties for illegal parking were in order. Stavrou also said that it is imperative to redevelop many city areas to introduce “better and more parking spaces”.

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