One in four fatalities on the island’s roads so far this year involved young people under 25, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Monday.
Speaking at a press conference on the launch of a road safety week, he said that 26% of road fatalities were under 25 years old — of the 42 killed in a total of 37 fatal collisions, 11 were young.
The accidents were the result of careless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol he said, and added: “It is tragic that in a modern society 16 people lost their lives on the road because they were not wearing a seat belt and another nine because they were not wearing a helmet,” he said.
He said a survey has shown that Cypriot drivers are hasty, impatient and careless on the road. Increased policing combined with incoming tougher penalties are expected to bring results.
Nicolaou said that the government, in cooperation with the Youth Board and NGOs, will be focusing on young people as it tries to cultivate more awareness. Planned actions include the opening of a drivers’ training school where courts or police can refer individuals considered to require more training as part of or an alternative sentence.