Cyprus Mail

New setback for traffic cams system

Thirteen years after the national traffic camera network was dismantled, efforts to resuscitate the project suffered further setback as companies challenged the tender process.

The contract was finally awarded last month to US-based Conduent State and Local Solutions Inc, which submitted an offer of just over €34m.

The tender is for 90 fixed cameras to monitor red-light and stop-sign violations, as well as for speeding, with a further 20 mobile units to be deployed by the police during specific campaigns or in rural areas.

But this week, the four unsuccessful companies all issued appeals to the tender review authority – a move which could potentially clog up works for months if not years.

A transport ministry official told the Cyprus Mail that the matter should be clarified next week, with a meeting set to take place on Monday.

The authority could put the project on hold to review the matter further or it may give the green light for the winning company to go ahead.

But the companies could ultimately try and take the case all the way to the courts.

And to make matters even more complicated, transport minister Yiannis Karousos said on Thursday that his department would issue an objection if a suspension order is given.

While the traffic camera issue has been on the backburner for years, it has recently re-emerged as a potentially vital tool by the government to reduce road fatalities.

Cyprus also ranks as one of the highest countries in the EU as regards road deaths per head of the population.

Along with an overhaul of the driving offences fines on October 1, authorities are hopeful that stricter measures in force on the roads will improve public safety.

The road transport department carried out a study in September which found that 70 per cent of road deaths in Cyprus occur within built-up areas. This far exceeds the EU average of 35 per cent.

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