Police on their Facebook page have condemned online sites where people can post and find police traffic radar detection locations, saying that sending out such messages endangers people’s lives.
In their Facebook comment on Wednesday they gave the example of one Matheos S., who at some point posted the warning “Blue Smurfs near the GSP” on a social media site, thereby alerting someone called Christos X., who was driving at the speed of 200km/h and under the influence of alcohol at the time.
Because of the notification, Christos X. temporarily slowed down and wasn’t caught. However, five kilometres down the road, he crashed into another car with what police call “simply devastating consequences” for the driver, Yiannos P.
Perhaps for many this is a movie script, the police Facebook post said, but daily reality has taught that such things happen, and unfortunately relatively often.
“Really, with such a notification what is being achieved? Informing drivers why? When you are a conscious driver and you adhere to the Road Traffic Code, you do not need any such information.”
According to the statement, in the last six years 2012-2017, 296 people died in road accidents. In a single week from January 22 to 28, 2018, 449 drivers were reported for not using seat belts.
While members of the police force argue that systematic checking is carried out as part of the prevention and reduction of accidents and saves lives, many drivers seem to disagree.
One Facebook site warning drivers about police activities, ‘CY Police checkpoints’, has 94,925 members, though it was only created a year ago. This islandwide site had more than 220 posts on Wednesday morning alone and 3,258 of its members joined during the past month. There appear to be demographics at work as well. Of three regional sites ‘CY Police checkpoints Ammoxostos’, ‘CY Police checkpoints Larnaka’ and ‘Cy Police checkpoints Nicosia’, all created in the past six to nine months, Ammoxostos or Famagusta has by far the most members, 3,918, followed by Larnaca with 1227 and Nicosia with just 33.