The traffic control system software called ‘SCOOT’, a network used to maintain safe movements on roads, will be upgraded, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos has said.
“The system is in dire need of an upgrading as we are looking to ease the flow of traffic in the capital by 20-25 per cent,” he said.
The SCOOT system controls traffic by analysing data coming from all traffic lights, giving priority to ambulances, fire trucks and buses.
“We’re exploring how we can upgrade all traffic lights and connect them to a centralised system,” Karousos said.
“However, we have to see if the operation can be carried out. In case it will prove to be too complicated or too costly, we are considering installing a new system altogether,” he added.
In November 2019, the government approved the installation of 105 state-of-the-art traffic lights across Nicosia by May 2020.
The new traffic lights will save energy and due to the consequent reduction in electricity bills will be cheaper to maintain.
The refurbishment project for Nicosia cost €1.5 million.
Karousos also hinted at the possibility of implementing a stricter traffic law for tourists who rent cars in Cyprus and leave without paying fines they may have incurred during their stay.
“The introduction of a law on rental cars is one of the top priorities for the ministry of transport. Some tourists come to Cyprus and are under the impression that, because they are driving rented cars, they are exempted from observing traffic laws and pay the subsequent fines they might receive. That will no longer be the case,” Karousos assured.
“We are pushing for a change in the legislation that holds rental cars companies responsible for ensuring that customers pay their fines before leaving the country.”