Cyprus is facing a disturbing increase in fatal traffic accidents, largely caused by distracted driving, particularly with the use of mobile phones. The “Eyes on the Road – The Mobile can Wait” campaign has been launched to combat this issue, while Cyprus has also adopted a Strategic Road Safety Plan to reduce fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.
What is the cause of the rise in fatal traffic incidents in Cyprus?
The significant increase in fatal traffic incidents in Cyprus is primarily due to distracted driving, often involving mobile phone use behind the wheel. The campaign “Eyes on the Road – The Mobile can Wait” aims to combat this trend, with Cyprus also adopting a Strategic Road Safety Plan to reduce fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.
A Troubling Trend in Traffic Accidents
Cyprus is grappling with a worrying rise in fatal traffic incidents. This year alone, 26 accidents have tragically ended the lives of 28 individuals. Justice Minister Anna Procopiou revealed that a significant cause behind these harrowing statistics is careless and distracted driving.
The Campaign Against Distraction
In a decisive move to curb this dangerous trend, the campaign “Eyes on the Road – The Mobile can Wait” was launched. Procopiou highlighted that in 2022 alone, there were 7,331 fines issued for mobile phone use while driving, with 6,367 more fines handed out in just the first few months of 2023.
A Moment’s Distraction, A Lifetime of Impact
The Justice Minister pointed to a harsh reality: drivers become distracted by their phones even during brief stops at traffic lights, engaging in calls, messaging, social media, or even taking selfies. The misconception that one can safely multitask while operating a vehicle is widespread, yet taking your eyes off the road for mere seconds at 50 km/h is akin to driving blindfolded for 70 meters.
A Unified Front for Road Safety
Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades backed Procopiou’s concerns, citing statistics that in urban areas, where traffic and pedestrians are most dense, nearly one in nine drivers is distracted by their phone. He condemned the rampant flouting of traffic laws, including speeding and driving under the influence, emphasizing the daily occurrence of such infringements.
A Strategic Vision for Safer Roads
Looking ahead, Cyprus has committed to the EU’s vision by adopting the Strategic Road Safety Plan for 2021-2030, aiming to slash road fatalities and serious injuries in half by 2030. This ambitious goal mirrors the collective responsibility of ensuring the roads are safe for everyone.
In the Words of the Experts
Jonathan Shkurko, a reporter well-versed in Cypriot affairs, has shed light on the local landscape since joining Cyprus Mail in 2019. With a diverse background including stints at CNN and ESPN, Shkurko provides insights into crime, politics, tourism, and more, bringing a wealth of knowledge to his audience on this pressing issue.
- Cyprus is facing an increase in fatal traffic accidents, primarily due to distracted driving involving mobile phones.
- The “Eyes on the Road – The Mobile can Wait” campaign has been launched to combat this issue.
- In 2022, 7,331 fines were issued for mobile phone use while driving, and 6,367 fines were issued in the first few months of 2023.
- Drivers in Cyprus become distracted by their phones even during brief stops at traffic lights, engaging in calls, messaging, social media, or taking selfies.
- Cyprus has adopted a Strategic Road Safety Plan to reduce fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.