Cyprus has one of the highest rates of speed violations on motorways in the EU, with 63 per cent violating the speed limit of 100km/h, according to a report just published by the European Transport Security Council’s Road Safety PIN (ETSC) programme.
The report on speeding as the cause of accidents includes the EU member states as well as Switzerland, Israel, Norway and Serbia.
The lowest rate of violation of motorway speed limits was registered in Lithuania, where 19 per cent drive faster than the allowed 130km/h. The highest, at 64 per cent, was Portugal which has a limit of 120km/h, just ahead of Cyprus in second place.
In contrast, with 37 per cent, Cyprus has the second-lowest rate of vehicles which fail to comply with the urban speed limit, just slightly higher than Sweden (35 per cent).
Poland (75 per cent) is the worst offender when it comes to urban speeding.
“The figure recorded in Cyprus is the second-lowest of the reporting countries, but it concerns more than a third of all cars and vans, and given the fact that the majority of road deaths in Cyprus occur in urban areas as opposed to most other European countries, complacency is not an option,” Giorgos Morphakis, spokesman for ETSC in Cyprus commented.
On rural two-lane streets, the percentage of cars and vans that violate the speed limits in Cyprus is again low, 18 per cent. The lowest percentage measured was recorded in the UK with 9 per cent and the highest in Israel, 70 per cent.
“Overspeeding and misjudging how fast to drive in certain circumstances cause one-third of fatal road crashes and are an aggravating factor in most accidents,” the report stressed.
It also said 2,100 lives can be saved each year if the average speed on all EU roads is reduced by just 1km/h.
To help solve the problem the transport security council recommends the adoption of the safe system approach.
“The Safe System approach, which has been endorsed in the EU strategic action plan on road safety, requires the road traffic management system to limit speeds to survivable levels, taking into account that humans make mistakes and their bodies have a limited tolerance for kinetic forces in case of a road collision,” the new report says.
Another helpful method is speed limit selection, a critical indicator determining safe travel speeds for different road types. Which speed is considered safe depends on the road design and its function, traffic volume, the composition of traffic and potential conflict types.