News Local Fast track procedures and tougher penalties for traffic offenders

Fast track procedures and tougher penalties for traffic offenders

Traffic offenders will face tougher penalties and fast track court procedures under new proposals set to go to the Council of Ministers and then to parliament for approval.

Traffic offences such as speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol will be sent to court within 24 hours which will have the authority to suspend the driver’s licence until the trial.

Cars that are illegally parked and left abandoned for a period will be confiscated. The new provisions were added recently during a review of bills that introduce higher fines.

The bills were presented to the Justice and Transport Ministers Ionas Nicolaou and Vasiliki Anastasiadou yesterday. They are next set to go to cabinet for approval and then be submitted to parliament  in January.

The proposed increase in out of court fines from €85 to €300 is seen as essential to stem the bloodshed on the roads.

Cases involving speeding, drunk driving, driving with a suspended licence or a combination of speed and drugs will go to court within 24 hours, as is the current case with football hooliganism. The driver will have to appear in court which could order he or she be stripped of their licence until the trial.

In cases were a driver is found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or without insurance, then the car will be impounded by police for 24 hours unless the driver presents an insurance policy or has someone else to drive.

In cases of illegal parking , drivers will be asked to remove the vehicle after paying a fine of up to €200. If the driver fails to do so, then the car will be towed and the driver will also have to pay tow and storage costs. If the vehicle is not claimed after two months, then it will be impounded.

Under the proposed bill, driving without a seat belt, helmet or using a mobile phone will be punishable with a fine of €300. The fine is currently €85.

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