POLICE Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou issued a video plea on YouTube on Christmas Eve calling drivers to spare their loved ones “unimaginable pain” by adopting a defensive driving approach to avoid road carnage over the holiday period.
Chrysostomou said in his message that “the 700 lives lost on the roads in the last ten years was too many”.
According to police data until December 23 this year, there were 44 road fatal road accidents with 45 people killed. Last year, 57 people died in road accidents.
Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said that almost one third of victims of fatal road accidents this year were under 25. According to data provided by Nicolaou, the number of road collisions and deaths in Cyprus has decreased over time, but the number of fatalities as a proportion of accidents has increased from 12.8 per 1,000 accidents in 1982 to 39 fatalities per 1,000 accidents in 2014. Cyprus currently ranks 12th among the EU 28 in terms of road deaths.
Chrysostomou said he believes it was imperative to address everyone at this time – young people, adults and senior citizens – “and to invite you to contribute together in the effort to drastically reduce fatal road collisions and road collisions leading to permanent or severe disabilities”.
“The pain from the loss of loved ones is unimaginable. Let us prevent this from happening. Let’s make our country safe in terms of road usage. Let’s protect our lives. The lives of our children. The lives of our fellow human beings,” Chrysostomou said.
The police chief called for the adoption of “highly defensive driving” by all, the main feature of which would be “respect for all our fellow humans”.
“We can and must reduce the loss of lives due to road accidents. It depends on each and every one of us. Let us all assume our responsibilities,” Chrysostomou said.
He added that 2017 could become the safest year as regards driving. “Merry Christmas and a safe New Year”.
The Cyprus Police, he said, is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and maintenance of public order and security and the protection of life and property of every citizen.