A change in mentality and deepening the sense of individual and social responsibility is required so that road safety becomes a way of life, Justice Minister Anna Koukides-Procopiou said on Monday.
She launched the road safety week awareness campaign by emphasising that the number of traffic violations recorded shows that much more remains to be achieved, despite the major efforts being undertaken to improve safety on the roads.
“Despite all the efforts which are being undertaken, unfortunately it is proven that many are still not adhering to the traffic code,” she said.
Indeed, she stated that the daily number of traffic violations prove that much more must be done to cultivate a safer attitude on the roads.
More positively, however, the minister pointed to initiatives established as part of the 2021-2030 road safety plan, such as the further driver training school for those who have violated the traffic code. Koukides-Procopiou further said that the law which requires cyclists to wear safety helmets and regulating the use of scooters has helped.
The minister added that many awareness campaigns have and are being carried out across schools, the national guard, and in the media.
Also in attendance at the Nicosia event was police chief Stelios Papatheodorou, who warned that 21 people have died so far this year on the roads.
Emphasising that those 21 deaths are still far too many, he welcomed the fact that the number of deaths is down compared to last year.
He further stated that the police force is employing modern tools to more strictly monitor the factors which have long been established as the key factors in road deaths.
Those, he said, include violations such as speeding, driving under the influence and not wearing a seatbelt or crash helmet.
He further praised the introduction of traffic cameras as a major tool which has helped reduce fatalities.
For his part, head of the police’s traffic department Ioannis Mavrochannas referred to the EU’s Vision Zero – achieving almost no road fatalities by 2050 – and a 50 per cent reduction in serious injuries and deaths by 2030.
To achieve that, he said, there must be a concerted effort amongst all key stakeholders at a national level.