CYPRUS: Twelve years of road carnage but no speed cameras in sight

Twelve years have passed since Cyprus dismantled its national speed camera network but reintroducing them on the island’s roads to prevent traffic carnage has proven difficult.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou has set a time frame for the installation of new cameras in early 2020 instead at the end of 2019 as officials had mooted. However, the related call for tenders has yet to be made.

Nicolaou said there is an ongoing effort to select a system that many other countries apply, and a strategic partner who would be responsible for the installation and management of the system, under the supervision of the authorities.

Traffic cameras were first introduced in 2007 but technical and legal issues forced the government at the time, to switch off the system. Ever since the process has been bogged down in bureaucracy and red tape.

Police are stressing the necessity of re-introducing the speed cameras to Cyprus roads as an effective measure to prevent road-related deaths.

Some 50 people lost their lives in road accidents last year, three less than 2017.

While people were losing their lives on the road, the government’s plan to call for tenders with the aim of installing the cameras by the end of 2019 was never made.

In 2016, then Transport Minister Marios Demetriades, appeared confident in statements made to reporters that the call for tenders would be made the following year.

According to reports, the Legal Service is still out on the matter, working with the Ministry of Justice, on several legal aspects regarding the operation of the speed cameras.

The goal is to identify any legal obstacles that may render the new speed camera system inactive, which is what happened last time. The deal turned sour over technical issues with the state eventually agreeing to an out of court settlement.

Talking to the Financial Mirror earlier in the year, the head of the Ministry of Transport’s Electromechanical Department, Markos Markou, confirmed that the state agreed to compensate the 2007 contractor with EUR 1.45 mln in a recent settlement.

Markou said that the state discovered the company had delivered equipment with different specifications than what was agreed.

The company had made some changes, which were deemed insufficient by the authorities who decided on the cancellation of the contract.

Markou said that the state’s legal service found that it was in the state’s best interest to compensate the company as going to court would not bring about any benefits but would only delay the current procedure to install a new system.

The preferred bidder will be responsible for providing all related equipment. That is, the cameras and the control centre (and the staff) from which traffic offences will be recorded by the system and processed. The fines will be sent to the offenders by the managing company.

While estimated at EUR 35 mln in 2017, in 2019, the project is now said to cost EUR 45 mln, increasing by 10 million in two years.

The contract will provide for the installation of 90 fixed and 20 mobile cameras. The fixed cameras are to be placed within cities at main junctions, while a small number will be placed outside cities in areas already selected. Cameras are to detect motorists running red lights and violating the speed limit.

Source: The Financial Mirror

CYPRUS: Twelve years of road carnage but no speed cameras in sight

Twelve years have passed since Cyprus dismantled its national speed camera network but reintroducing them on the island’s roads to prevent traffic carnage has proven difficult.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou has set a time frame for the installation of new cameras in early 2020 instead at the end of 2019 as officials had mooted. However, the related call for tenders has yet to be made.

Nicolaou said there is an ongoing effort to select a system that many other countries apply, and a strategic partner who would be responsible for the installation and management of the system, under the supervision of the authorities.

Traffic cameras were first introduced in 2007 but technical and legal issues forced the government at the time, to switch off the system. Ever since the process has been bogged down in bureaucracy and red tape.

Police are stressing the necessity of re-introducing the speed cameras to Cyprus roads as an effective measure to prevent road-related deaths.

Some 50 people lost their lives in road accidents last year, three less than 2017.

While people were losing their lives on the road, the government’s plan to call for tenders with the aim of installing the cameras by the end of 2019 was never made.

In 2016, then Transport Minister Marios Demetriades, appeared confident in statements made to reporters that the call for tenders would be made the following year.

According to reports, the Legal Service is still out on the matter, working with the Ministry of Justice, on several legal aspects regarding the operation of the speed cameras.

The goal is to identify any legal obstacles that may render the new speed camera system inactive, which is what happened last time. The deal turned sour over technical issues with the state eventually agreeing to an out of court settlement.

Talking to the Financial Mirror earlier in the year, the head of the Ministry of Transport’s Electromechanical Department, Markos Markou, confirmed that the state agreed to compensate the 2007 contractor with EUR 1.45 mln in a recent settlement.

Markou said that the state discovered the company had delivered equipment with different specifications than what was agreed.

The company had made some changes, which were deemed insufficient by the authorities who decided on the cancellation of the contract.

Markou said that the state’s legal service found that it was in the state’s best interest to compensate the company as going to court would not bring about any benefits but would only delay the current procedure to install a new system.

The preferred bidder will be responsible for providing all related equipment. That is, the cameras and the control centre (and the staff) from which traffic offences will be recorded by the system and processed. The fines will be sent to the offenders by the managing company.

While estimated at EUR 35 mln in 2017, in 2019, the project is now said to cost EUR 45 mln, increasing by 10 million in two years.

The contract will provide for the installation of 90 fixed and 20 mobile cameras. The fixed cameras are to be placed within cities at main junctions, while a small number will be placed outside cities in areas already selected. Cameras are to detect motorists running red lights and violating the speed limit.

Source: The Financial Mirror