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Police allay fears over possible speed limit increase

A police official has moved to ease concerns from the public that a likely increase in the speed limit would lead to some motorists taking liberties and hitting greater speeds.

A committee comprising of experts is currently in the process of reviewing the possibility of increasing the current speed limit on the island’s motorways from 100km/h to 120km/h to align with most European countries.

But due to Cyprus’ poor road safety record and the high number of road deaths recorded on the island every year, many people are concerned that such a move could do more harm than good.

As things stand now, there is an unwritten rule that vehicles doing between 100km/h and 120km/h on a 100km/h limit motorway will not be stopped for speeding by police.

This in turn has many thinking that this could lead to motorists feeling that they will be allowed a grace limit of 20km/h and would see cars and motorbikes hitting speeds of 140km/h.

“Before people begin to get concerned, we should wait to see what the committee decides,” Traffic Police Chief Philippos Papaelia told state radio on Wednesday.

“No decision has been taken yet and the matter of whether the speed limit will be increased is still under review. We shouldn’t be premature over possible scenarios.”

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Earlier on Wednesday, Communications Minister Marios Demetriades confirmed that the committee was close to backing the move to increase the speed limit on the motorways.

Papaelia went on to say that there are also plans to pepper additional speed cameras all over the island’s main roads, despite lengthy delays in actually purchasing and installing them.

“Through the lens of a speed camera, it works very simple. If a vehicle exceeds the speed limit, then it will be reported.”

The increase in the speed limit and amendments aimed at increasing penalties for traffic violations, in some cases as much as 500%, have been proposed in order to bring Cyprus in line with most European countries in the battle against traffic – related deaths.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou believes that penalties without consequences are not a deterrent.

Meanwhile, Traffic Police cited 191 people for various motorbike violations this week during a clampdown. Most of the motorists were reported for speeding and not wearing helmets.

This week, police are undergoing a clampdown on drinking and driving.

“We once again call on motorists not to drink and drive. Police will be out in numbers especially on Friday and the weekend and many motorists will be stopped for checks.”

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One comment

  1. richard robinson

    The proposed raising of the speed limit is only for the highway. It would be interesting to know what percentage of accidents occur on the these roads which are generally the safest.