Welcome to Cyprus traffic violations

Cyprus Mail reports:

OVER 2,000 traffic violations were recorded last weekend by two fixed speed cameras installed on Grivas Dhigenis avenue in Nicosia.

Just give it a minute to sink in. Two thousand violations. In only two days. Recorded by only two fixed cameras (fixed means people know where and when they are).  These numbers are mind-blowing.  And yet what does the police decide?  Here’s what:

Deputy head of the Electromechanical Services Department (ESD) Loucas Timotheou said that no one would be prosecuted or fined, for now.

I think this basically explains the attitude towards the traffic laws.  Furthermore:

Timotheou told the Cyprus Mail that the weekend traffic violations caught by the cameras could add up to €100,000 in fines. “Of course, it’s not about the money. It’s about protecting people and making drivers obey traffic laws,” he said.

Two things that catch my attention here are:

  1.  Isn’t Cyprus trying to survive a bad economy, scrubbing for money everywhere? Why 100K in two days is completely ignored?
  2. How exactly are you protecting people by recording videos of violators and not issuing fines?

Police can film people without consent under certain circumstances

Police can film people without consent under certain circumstances

POLICE may film or take photographs or people without consent under conditions to be specified by the attorney-general, justice minister Loucas Louca said yesterday.

“Following a meeting with the commissioner for the protection of personal data, the attorney-general, the police chief and I, it was decided that the police may video-record people under certain circumstances,” Louca said.

Greek police is available for rent

There are many signs of a country’s economy in trouble, but I think this one is the most obvious one – renting out the services of police officers and their equipment to private citizens.  And that’s exactly what Greece is doing now, according to PolicyMic, which is quoting a Greek newspaper Proto Thema.

As reported by the newspaper Proto Thema, for only 30 euros an hour, Greek citizens could now use police officers as personal bodyguards. For 10 more euros they can get a patrol car and for an amount of 200 and 1500 euros per hour respectively, they can have patrol boats or police helicopters. The minister, nevertheless, warned that the services offered will be limited to legal activities only.

It would be hilarious, if it wasn’t so sad…

Cyprus police anti-brutality

Here is yet another story showing the soft side of Cyprus police:

At around 5am yesterday morning, the police chased a 24 year old across town who failed to stop when the police signalled him for an alco-test. The chase started in Kennedy street, and finished when he was captured at his house in Mammari village in the Kokkinotrimithia area. During the chase he went through 3 police road blocks injuring a policeman who was trying to stop him. At some point he drove into the buffer zone near his village forcing the police to stop chasing him; on his way back to the free areas he injured a second policeman. The police was forced to use their firearms in order to immobilise his car but even under fire and with broken tires the 24 year old continued driving. He managed to reach his house where he attacked another policeman and entered his house refusing to come out. He was finally arrested yesterday at 15:00. The police is holding the 24 year old’s car as evidence while they are suspecting that he entered the buffer zone to dispose illegal items he was carrying. His father claims his son entered the buffer zone because he was scared and the he didn’t notice the police road blocks due to limited visibility.


Surprise can win you a lot of battles

The other time I was issued a fine that I didn’t consider fair. So I wasn’t going to pay it. The thing is, if you don’t pay your fine within the two weeks or so, it goes to court, and than you can either pay more in court or debate the fine. I wasn’t going to turn it into any serious case or anything like that, but I was hoping to debate it and get out of it.

Surprise, they say, can win you a lot of battles. When people are confronted with circumstances there weren’t prepared for, they are easy to manipulate. Especially, if they had a plan that couldn’t be applied anymore to the different circumstances.

That’s what happened to me. Since I was fined way too long ago, I was waiting for a notice from court. Instead I got a phone call. It was from Germasoia police station. The guy in the most polite and kind way reminded that I have a fine due. He said that it was only 15 CYP and that I should pass by and pay it.

I don’t know what got into me, but he was so nice that I didn’t even think twice before picking up my wallet and driving all the way to Germasoia. I paid it and actually felt good about. About two hours later I realized that it was the surprise that caught me offguard…