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Cyprus

No traffic camera fines have ended up in court

feature jon traffic cameras in place in nicosia
File photo: Traffic cameras in place in Nicosia

A year and a half since traffic cameras were introduced not a single unpaid fine has been registered in court.

According to police information, the proportion of unpaid notices, known to have been received by drivers, currently stands at 40 per cent, Philenews reported, which amounts to roughly 40,000 cases.

The automated system is still just partially in place and the number of unpaid fines can only be expected to rise when the system becomes fully operational by end of year, with the anticipated 90 fixed and 20 mobile units installed.

Various teething problems hindering the system’s smooth functioning now appear to have been sorted out between the traffic police and the contracted company in charge.

Among them, arose the matter of ensuring that the person for whom the violation is issued, is indeed the driver (not the vehicle’s owner), and introducing verification of the drivers’ details. A similar problem also arose for companies, since the system did not recognise drivers of company vehicles.

The issue of who would prepare the indictments to be sent to court has also been resolved, and the first 2,000-3,000 cases are expected to be registered shortly.

The contracting company is responsible for sending information about the violator and the offence to the traffic police, who, after identification, forward the information to the relevant police station to be entered into the district registry.

The indictment will then be issued to the offender, as is the case with other traffic offences.

Authorities, however, fear that the courts will be overwhelmed once the cases start to flow, since they are already overworked. This could lead to a situation where the adjudication of traffic cases could be postponed for two years or more.

A separate issue that arose was the deadline for payment. Under the original legislation, a court order had to be served within a certain timeframe. This legislation has already been amended and the legal services have assured that even if this period is exceeded, there will be no repercussions on locating and delivering registered documents, whether a fine or a letter.

The issue of unreceived or undeliverable notices has also been raised in the past, when it became known that despite delivery via post, many drivers deliberately did not collect the fines leaving them in limbo.  Others were unable to receive the fine for legitimate reasons, such as a change of address, sickness or other absence.

To resolve this without dismissing the fine, an electronic list is being created so that when these persons attempt to travel, or come into contact the police for any reason, they will be confirmed and served with the fine on the spot.

According to the data provided, from January 1, 2022 through May 17, 2023, traffic caught on camera amounted to 213,603. Of these 181,920 notices were mailed, out of which 67,362, a little over a third, have been paid.

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