The police have hailed a 38.5 per cent reduction in fatal road collisions this year.
Police spokesperson Eleni Constantinou explained on Wednesday that the significant decrease in fatalities is marked from 2022 compared to 2023.
She stated that from January 1, 2021, to August 16, 2021 there were 22 fatal collisions with 23 deaths.
The same period the following year, 2022, recorded 26 fatal collisions and 28 deaths.
But this year a significant reduction in both fatal collisions and deaths have been recorded, with 16 and 17 respectively – meaning there were ten fewer than last year.
The reduction works out at 38.5 per cent fatal collisions and 39.3 per cent deaths respectively.
Constantinou attributed the marked change to the police force’s and other state authorities policies as yielding results.
That, she said, has been achieved by stepping up of awareness campaigns – such as multiple programmes for conscripts in the national guard – and seminars in schools, and other public institutions.
But officers on the ground also played a major role, Constantinou stated, adding that the force’s continuous checks for compliance with the traffic code is also a key factor.
She added that recently installed traffic camera system – which went live in October 2021 – has also played a crucial role in reducing traffic collisions.
The primary culprits identified as leading to fatal collisions include drivers being distracted (mobile phones), speeding, driving under the influence, and not wearing seatbelts or crash helmets.
She concluded that the public’s awareness of the severe and fatal impacts of reckless driving has been highlighted in the media and public discourse.
Constantinou’s figures covered the January-August period, and a recent report Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) published in June recorded a similar downward trend in road fatalities.
It reported that the number of road deaths dropped from 45 in 2021 to 37 last year. That shifts the island’s ranking from 17th place in 2021 to 9th place among the 27 EU member states in 2022, the report released by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said.
Close to three years ago the fines for many traffic violations were increased significantly, such as fines for motorcyclists not wearing a crash helmet more than doubled to €200, while those not wearing a seat belt now fork out €150 – raised to €300 for a repeated offence within three years.
The fine for not wearing a helmet increased from €85 to €200 and then €300 for a second violation.
Using a mobile phone while at the wheel now costs €150 (if caught), instead of the previous €85, with the fine potentially rising to €300 in case of a second violation within three years.
The fine for parking in a spot reserved for the disabled rose from €85 to €300, as did the fine for those running a red light.
All the revised sentences have been posted on the website www.roadsafetycyprus.gov.cy.