By Charlie Charalambous
After spending five minutes on Cyprus roads you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to discover something is terribly awry.
There is no getting away from it that Cypriot drivers have an attitude problem. They have no road manners and take uncalculated risks. Forget about mirror, signal and manoeuvre.
There is no chance of any courtesy on the roads, it’s all about putting pedal to the metal and cutting up everyone with disregard.
I think this option has been added to the Highway Code of Cyprus as everyone at the wheel seems to follow this mantra.
Then there are the myriad drivers who prefer to do anything else at the controls except drive. I’m sure most them believe that cars drive themselves while they natter happily on the mobile without noticing there are other vehicles on the road.
It’s not unusual for a driver to have a discussion with someone in the back seat which involves turning around and taking both hands off the wheel.
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Painting lines in the road, building roundabouts and erecting traffic lights all seem a cosmetic waste of time and energy as most drivers treat such traffic flow designs as obstacles to overcome.
Bitching about bad drivers is nothing new but serious questions are being asked about our highway manners after a 13-year-old was killed on his bike by a motorist.
Well when I say questions, practically it means a few politicians and pressure groups kicking up some dust before the situation returns to being completely abnormal. It took this painful and unnecessary loss of a young life to discover that a law to protect cyclists by imposing stiffer fines and penalties has been shelved for several years.
Cyprus roads are no place for cyclists or pedestrians – they are simply ignored or taken out of the equation. Then there are the teenagers on mopeds that refuse to wear helmets, speed down residential streets while young cyclists do not make themselves visible at night.
None of us are perfect drivers but a little common sense and courtesy would go a long way. I am against any of my kids riding motorbikes because I know how dangerous it is but somewhere along the route we took our eye off the road.
A little care and consideration can prevent the needless loss of life while lowering stress levels at the wheel.