Twenty-two police patrol cars have been fitted out with state-of-the-art camera-linked identification systems that alert officers of offences connected to passing vehicles.
Speaking to state radio on Monday, Traffic Department Deputy Director Philippos Papaelias said cameras on the 22 cars photograph the number plates of passing vehicles and a database system within seconds informs officers if there are any outstanding warrants for the owner of the car or even if the vehicle’s road tax, MOT, or insurance had not been renewed.
The officers will then be able to pull over the car to begin their inquiries.
“This is a multi-use tool introducing automatic identification that will assist the police to a great degree,” Papaelias said.
He continued that of the 22 police cars currently fitted out with the system, 10 had been attached to Police Headquarters with the remaining 12 divided, two by two, amongst each district.
Papaelias also commented on the start of a week-long campaign cracking down on drunk driving.
The campaign begins on Monday and will continue until and including Sunday, April 9.
“There will be checks around the clock but mainly late at night on Friday and Saturday in areas most frequented by those visiting nightspots,” he said.
Papaelias reminded the public of the importance of having a designated driver if their planned to drink on a night out.
He also underlined that the maximum alcohol limit was much lower for certain categories of drivers, including those who had passed their driving licence within the previous three years.
For most drivers, a breath/alcohol level equal or exceeding 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath is considered over the limit but for some, including new drivers, professional drivers on duty including taxi or bus drivers, or drivers carrying dangerous cargos, the limit is set at nine micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
Papaelias also announced the results of two recent road safety campaigns, saying 614 drivers had been caught going through red lights and that 3,542 had been caught speeding during the two, most recent efforts.
“We call on drivers to be especially careful and obey traffic lights, particularly at night when it seems some drivers to do not stop at red lights,” Papaelias said, adding that speeding was one of the main causes of fatal and serious accidents.