The number of illegal parking fines for the town of Limassol has sky-rocketed with police figures showing an increase of 650% as traffic officers get tough across the island.
According to the same figures, the fines have jumped from 810 to 5,457 while Cyprus Police have reported 9,163 motorists on the island in 2016 for illegal parking compared to the 3,574 in 2015.
Police Spokesman Andreas Angelides put part of the increase down to the authorities stepping up checks while also responding to complaints made through the 1460 police hotline and online.
“There was a particular increase in Limassol due to repeated offences on main roads,” he noted.
The number of fines issued for illegal parking dropped in Nicosia, from 314 in 2015 to 271 in 2016 but grew significantly in Larnaca from 288 to 796.
There was also an increase in Paphos from 116 in 2015 to 331 in 2016.
The number of fines for illegal parking in the Morphou district within the Republic of Cyprus changed little, from 23 in 2015 to 25 in 2016.
Fines issues via Police Headquarters, meanwhile, fell from 409 to 119.
“The police are paying particular attention to motorists illegally using parking spaces designated for people with mobility problems. In 2016, there were 2,761 fines issues while in 2015 the number stood at 2,965,” Angelides added.
Meanwhile, Traffic Police Spokesperson Yiannakis Charalambous told state radio on Monday that the current fines for illegal parking stand at €85 but new legislation which will soon come into effect will see those fines “increased to €200, €300 or maybe more.”
“People need to understand the dangers of parking illegally, whether it is on a curb, at a red light, on a double-yellow line or at a zebra crossing. They obscure the view for other drivers. We will not tolerate such violations and motorists will be fined without exception.”
He added: “Parking illegally in spaces designated for people with disabilities is also not accepted. I remember one time, I saw a motorist park in a parking space for motorists with disability problems.”
“When I told him to move it, he told he would only be five minutes. I then told him that I was reporting him and he then immediately jumped back into his car and moved it. Some people only understand threats and that is what we will do.”
According to legislation, illegally parking in spaces designated for people with disability problems can be punishable with a prison sentence and/or a fine of €1,200.