Yesterday a friend and I were in my car coming back to Limassol from a day’s shopping in Nicosia when we joined the traffic queue near the Governors Beach area at about 4.30 pm. We eventually got home in Limassol at approximately 7.30pm.
I really need to let you know about my experience in the traffic queue after the tragic event that had caused this. A few minutes after coming to a standstill in the queue, I noticed cars with their hazard lights on. The back row of cars could have them on until they had cars behind them, but there was no necessity to crawl in the queue with them on.
Cars and trucks pulling out of the queue onto the hard shoulder and reversing to get to a nearby slip road, which many did not succeed doing. Now, as I understand it, the hard shoulder of the road is for as in this case, emergency vehicles. At one point there was a yellow coloured tour bus in the far lane alongside my car whose driver had decided to use half the hard shoulder to drive on, and he wasn’t the only one.
The awful thing about this yellow bus was that he blocked a police vehicle attempting to get to the accident scene.
He obviously was not checking his side mirrors or he would have seen the police vehicle. I had to pull hard right to allow the police car to drive between me and the yellow tour bus.
The police actually stopped his car alongside the driver and appeared to speak sharply with him. Once the police vehicle had passed, the driver still hogged the hard shoulder.
There were a few taxis in the queue who I noted tried to lane hop and also did not leave a safe distance from the car on front of them.
The one I noticed in particular, persistently tailgated the vehicle in front of it. Of many countries I have driven in, Cyprus is the worst for showing up bad driving and people seem to get away with it many times. There is no excuse for public transport drivers to drive so recklessly with innocent passengers in their vehicles.
All taxi and coach drivers should ensure that their passengers as well as themselves are buckled up at all times. I also noticed, crawling along as we were, that most of the cars around us had seatbelts that were not being used.
There is often an issue about the police having not enough staff to deal with traffic violations, but I have to disagree. To begin with, up the fines 300% and open more traffic courts to deal with these fines. Name and shame all those who try to or do bribe their way out of fines.
And NO, it is not a violation of their human rights to do this- this is to protect the innocent on the roads which is far greater than the sum of the corrupt. Traffic police should not just be patrolling in pairs in vehicles.
They should be doing random stop and searches of drivers and vehicle roadworthiness. There should be traffic education schools set up as part of sentencing of those found guilty.
When there is an incident of this magnitude on any road on the island, why do the police not put out traffic warnings via the local radio stations in Greek and English?
I had my radio on tuned to BFBS to see if there would be any mention of it. I cannot get any other English channel on my car radio. I eventually contacted my husband on my hands-free car phone and he gave me information regarding this accident off the internet.
Do as the UK and other countries do, have an emergency channel that will break into the radio stations to give vital instructions and tips to road users. This lovely island is its own worst enemy at not following , enforcement and last but not least, respecting rules.
Limassol Lizzie, via email