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Charlie’s Soap Box: A road well travelled

By Charlie Charalambous

Frequently police launch road safety campaigns to deter motorists from speeding, drinking and driving and similar rogue behaviour at the wheel.

Cyprus has managed to curb the carnage on our highways and byways, but there is still senseless killing on our roads, as we have witnessed this past week.
Teenagers needlessly dying on their bikes and a man run over while out for a walk.

The pain of losing a loved one can never be completely erased, but most of us drive as if we will live forever.

Speed cameras will be a welcome introduction to bring some sanity and order on to our roads.

Cypriots still take far too many risks – whether young or old – and display the patience of a virgin who is about to have sex.

Mistakes happen.

But are the authorities too lenient with errant drivers – are we cultivating a culture of unnecessary risk-takers?

Two of my sons drive and I do worry about them on the road and a third is about to start driving lessons.

Like most teenagers, two of my sons wanted to acquire a bike or moped; I refused because of the dangers and felt they needed experience of driving on the road.

Even when they get older, I will still try and persuade them against ever riding or buying a motorbike. Sadly, bikers and cyclists ride at their own peril, as we all do, I guess.

Another hugely worrying trend is the habit of texting and speaking on the phone while driving. We have all done it, but we must resist the urge. Everybody’s at it and something needs to be done.

Maybe Cyprus should follow Britain’s example after cops in the UK doubled the fine (£100 to £200) and penalty points (three to six) for drivers using a mobile.

And new drivers are banned if they accumulate six points in their first two years at the wheel.

A similarly harsh approach could work in Cyprus. Even though nobody wants to lose their licence, we could be saving lives not losing them.

Judging by the more lenient attitude toward smokers, after new legislation, this will be a long time coming.

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