CYPRUS: Twelve years on and 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 carnage has proven difficult.

The 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 the government planned a call for tenders in 2018 with the aim of installing the cameras by the end of 2019, the move has yet to be made.

Previously in 2016, then Transport Minister Marios Demetriades, appeared confident in statements made to reporters that the call for tenders would be made in 2017, estimating the cost at EUR 53 mln.

According to reports, a meeting with the Legal Service was held at the Ministry of Justice, where several legal aspects regarding the operation of the speed cameras were discussed.

The goal was to identify any legal obstacles that may render the new speed camera system inactive, which is what happened with the state’s attempt to install speed cameras in 2007. The deal turned sour over technical issues with the state eventually agreeing to an out of court settlement.

Talking to the Financial Mirror, 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.

Commenting on events that led to the cancellation of the contract in 2007, Markou said that the state had found that 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, he said.

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 ongoing procedure to install a new system.

His department has prepared new tender documents which are to be processed by the state’s legal services and a call for tenders will soon be madehopefully.

Source: The Financial Mirror