Speeding motorists on Nicosia’s Grivas Dhigenis Avenue in Nicosia will find themselves at the mercy of traffic cameras as of tomorrow with the new system’s trial period effectively coming to its end today.
The dummy run officially ends today and will be fully operational tomorrow, clocking motorists exceeding the 50km/h speed limit on the lengthily Grivas Dhigenis Avenue stretch.
The new traffic enforcement camera system is part of sweeping measures by police to clampdown not only on speeding motorists but also boy racers.
This particular stretch of road – which begins at Lykavitos Police Station in central Nicosia and finishes at the Nicosia Airport roundabout in Engomi – is a notorious hotspot for motorists using the avenue as a racing circuit late at night.
Local residents have in the past complained of speeding cars tearing through traffic lights. The cameras have been strategically placed near the McDonalds and the Metochi tou Kykkou traffic lights where the most frequent speeding and reckless driving offences are recorded.
An announcement by the police says all violations will be recorded the cameras and a signal will be sent to the Traffic Police Headquarters. The offending motorist will then be handed a speeding fine by police officers from their local police station. During the trial period, motorists were given a warning by telephone.
Earlier this month, Traffic Police Chief Demetris Demetriou told The Cyprus Daily that Grivas Dhigenis was targeted especially because of the problems of racing.
"This is a very well known problem spot for the authorities which is why the cameras have been installed here as a matter of priority. They (boy racers) have been upsetting residents and wreaking havoc on this road for some time but the party is over now.
"Anyone who breaks the speed limit or endangers other motorists will be caught and appropriately punished."
The Ministry of Communications is currently preparing to launch tenders for an islandwide speed camera network that is expected to be up and running by February next year.
The newly installed cameras in Engomi will operate independently from the wider network.
“The private company that installed the two fixed cameras is training our officers on how to use the system which will be operated entirely by the traffic department,” said Demetriou.
According to statistics issued by the Justice and Communications Ministries, Cyprus' previous camera system successfully managed to reduce road accidents by 35% during its short lived pilot run.
It was cancelled by the Tender Board in 2007 for not meeting technical specifications and resulted in a lengthy legal battle between the state and private company that installed it.