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Dangerous drivers warned: expect huge increase in fines

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou

Fines for traffic offences will go up significantly and police officers will have the right to suspend driving licences immediately, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou announced on Friday.

He was commenting on the road accident in Xylotymbou earlier in the day which killed 25-year-old Giorgos Constantinou after his buggy overturned. It is believed the driver was not wearing a seatbelt.

The accident brought the number of fatalities from road crashes this year to 39.

“In some cases the fines will multiply,” Nicolaou said. “For example riding a motorbike without a helmet will go up from €85 to €300, the same with seat belts.”

“There will also be substantial increases in fines regarding speed and alcohol.”

Another change under discussion by the legal services and the justice ministry is to raise the fine for smaller offences such as parking on pavements and parking in disabled parking spaces from €85 to €200.

Serious offences, including not wearing a seat belt or traffic light violations, will also carry more penalty points.

The reason for the changes, which are expected to be put to the House before the end of the year, is that current measures are not effective and drivers need to get the message, the minister explained.

This will be done in several ways, by an increase in inspections and by introducing the new fines. Police officers will also have the right to seize driving licences of offenders on the spot, if for example, they are way over the legal alcohol limit.

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