Cyprus Mail

Karousos: traffic cams will save lives

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said on Tuesday that the installation of 110 speed cameras in Cyprus worth over €34m will help reduce the number of lives lost on the roads.

Last September, the national road safety council approved a new safety plan and set the goal to reduce road fatalities and serious injuries in Cyprus by 50 per cent by 2030.

The plan consists of 158 specific actions including, among others, the introduction of a photo-enforcement system to better identify motorists violating rules and the improvement of the lighting system in urban centres, where most accidents take place.

“With these new steps we have taken, we hope to significantly contribute to the reduction of road accidents in the country,” Karousos said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Also, the cameras will not only detect speed violations, but also record violations, such as motorists and motorcyclists failing to wear seat belts or helmets, or using their mobile phones while driving, or not stopping at a traffic light.”

The minister added that several official studies, both in Cyprus and abroad, have proven that fewer accidents occur where cameras are installed.

“Cameras save human lives, therefore create socio-economic benefits for everyone,” he said.

“In 2019, the cost of the total road accidents in Cyprus, which included 52 deaths, 340 serious injuries and 343 minor injuries, amounted to €210m. That number reaches €1.1bn if we calculate the cost of road accidents since 2015,” Karousos said.

“European studies have revealed that each road death in Cyprus costs €1.83m, each serious accident costs €315,000 and each minor accident costs €25,000. Therefore, even a 20 per cent reduction of accidents will bring economic benefits, apart from saving lives.”

The 110 cameras will be divided into 90 fixed cameras in 30 locations and 20 mobile cameras.

The project will be implemented in three phases.

The pilot phase, which is expected to be completed within six months, includes the operation of four mobile cameras and the installation and operation of four fixed cameras in one location.

In addition, a centre for the collection and processing of violations will be installed and will start operations, where notifications are going to be issued and sent to offenders. This is expected to be completed in another three months.

After the initial nine months a first phase will start, lasting a further six months. This involves the operation of 16 more mobile cameras and the installation and operation of an additional 20 fixed cameras in six locations.

During the next and final phase, to be completed within one year after the first phase has been finalised, 66 fixed cameras will be added, bringing the total to 90, in 23 locations.

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