Ayia Napa Mayor Yiannis Karousos called for a change of policy on Tuesday to make sure that tourists are made to pay traffic fines before leaving the island as thousands remain unpaid due to lack of checks.
Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC, Karousos said that many tourists, mostly young, who rent motorcycles or quad bikes, fail to abide by traffic signs, drive under the influence of alcohol or drive dangerously, often without any consequences.
“They drive dangerously. There are accidents, and they create a negative impression to our visitors through this behaviour,” Karousos said. He added that they also endanger pedestrians.
But offenders, he said, when they get caught, usually fail to pay their fines before departing, resulting in thousands of unpaid tickets each year as there is no control system in place.
“In the Famagusta district alone, last year, there were 3,000 unpaid tickets,” Karousos said.
He said that the details of tourists renting vehicles should be registered with the police and municipality systems so that they can be tracked down and made to pay their fines.
The EU recently introduced a new directive warning that those who commit such traffic offences would be made to pay the fines in their home countries.