How elitist does it sound when a deputy suggests scooters must be banned if no active measures are taken to ensure their safe circulation?

This view was expressed by Dipa deputy and chairman of the House transport committee Marinos Moushiouttas on Tuesday, after a report earlier in the day of an accident involving a scooter, in which a 13-year-old boy was seriously injured in Limassol.

Yes, there is a problem with scooters on city roads, with riders not following the law and failing to wear safety gear.  Moushiouttas is also correct that there has been a failure to enforce a lengthy set of rules contained in the new law implemented last year for scooters but why punish every scooter rider for the sins of a few by suggesting a ban?

Knives in the wrong hand also kill but it would be ridiculous to suggest banning them.

Only someone with a big expensive car would suggest a ban on a mode of transport used mainly by the less well-off, when the ultimate failure is the authorities’ for not making roads safer for riders. If a scooter rider who follows all the rules is killed, who’s fault is that?

There is a mentality in Cyprus that only cars should be allowed on the roads and everyone else is a nuisance, bikers, moped riders, cyclists, people on scooters and even pedestrians at a time when officials talk incessantly about cleaner and more energy-efficient mobility. 

Moushiouttas ought to bear in mind that most people went around on bicycles long before we could afford cars – and before that donkeys and carts – but no one is going to argue that cars do not belong on the roads just because roads were first the domain of these more primitive modes of transport.

In Nicosia, there has been an effort to set up more cycle lanes, but they are hit and miss and not suitable overall for people using scooters and bicycles as a means of transport rather than a fun outing or sport. 

As for using the pavements, if more drivers were fined for parking on them and the owners of wheelie bins fined for leaving them in the middle of pavements, scooters and bicycle riders might stay on them a bit more.

Despite thousands of traffic violations, hundreds of accidents and injuries and around 30-35 deaths a year, sometimes including children, no MP has ever called for a ban on cars no matter how many lives are lost. To use the MP’s reasoning, it could be argued that cars are actually the problem.  

The only time we hear about banning cars is in relation to climate change. So, when the non-emissions zones and 15-minute cities come for MPs’ cars, they might just be glad of a scooter to get around on those traffic-free roads.

Or perhaps those who rule us, believe somehow that they’ll be exempt from the restrictions coming down the line for the rest of the masses and their polluting vehicles.