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Fatal traffic junction to have cameras installed (Updated)

profile mai cyprus trasnport minister alexis vafeades (photo christos theodorides)
Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades

Traffic cameras are set to be installed at the junction that saw four members of the same family killed in a traffic accident on New Year’s Day, the transport minister said on Monday.

The decision was announced by Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades following a meeting with experts from the department of public works, where recommendations were discussed in the aftermath of the incident in Limassol.

The accident resulted in the death of four people, two grandparents and their grandchildren half an hour after midnight on New Year’s Day, when they were hit by an oncoming vehicle in Kato Polemidia, Limassol. The four were not wearing seat belts.

Although, the driver in this case was not drunk or under the influence of drugs, he is suspected of possibly speeding and running a red light, at the junction where the crash occurred.

Following the meeting on Monday, Vafeades said that the recommendations to the road safety council encompass a range of measures, both short-term and long-term.

The immediate action proposed involves the placement of cameras to monitor speed. If adopted, this system could be operational within a few months, according to Vafeades.

“Until then, regular police patrols will be suggested for the area,” he added.

“We have decided to propose to the police the installation of a photo enforcement system on this road to monitor speed.

Vafeades clarified that the installation of the traffic cameras on the specific road was not necessarily linked to the accident’s cause.

“There is ongoing work in the area, and we can use some of the equipment and subsequently address the appropriate technical and central committees that manage and allow such changes in contracts, so that this can be achieved,” he said.

“Once this is done, it will take us about two months to install a photo enforcement system on that particular road.”

The minister also presented plans for a new roundabout at the intersection of Evagora Laniti and Yiannos Kranidiotis street, in Kato Polemidia, which are currently under study.

“The introduction of a roundabout in the area will enhance road safety,” Vafeades said. “With this roundabout, right turns will be prohibited at the intersection where the fatal accident occurred.”

He then stressed that the area will be monitored after the measures are implemented and that further actions will be taken if necessary.

Additionally, independently of the road safety council, Vafeades said that the transport ministry is revising legislation concerning driving instructors.

He highlighted the intention to enhance driver education and training with better resources.

“An update to the traffic code is also in progress to improve the content taught to new drivers, aiming to elevate road awareness and culture,” he explained, while underlining the approximately 20,000 violations of traffic signals in 2023.

The minister expressed concern over “the brazen behaviour of some drivers disregarding traffic signals”.

On the identification of other risky areas, Vafeades said that this falls under police jurisdiction, indicating that law enforcement identifies such areas and implements appropriate measures.

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