Pedestrians beware as jaywalking law comes into force
By Leo Leonidou
FROM yesterday, pedestrians not crossing the road at a designated crossing if there is one available within 300 feet are liable for €9 fine.
The measure came into immediate effect after Parliament on Thursday night approved the law banning jaywalking.
Director of the Traffic Unit Doros Achilleos said the measure was necessary in order to improve safety, with six pedestrians killed on the roads so far this year. “This worries us greatly,” he stated, adding that too many pedestrians are putting their lives, as well as those of motorists, in danger due to carelessness.
But Achilleos admitted there were not enough pedestrian crossings across the island. “This is an issue that must be immediately addressed by local authorities as we have countless roads with no crossings. Studies must be undertaken in order to ascertain where they are most needed.”
Asked why a pedestrian should walk an extra 300 feet to a crossing if there is little or no traffic on a particular road, Achilleos said this was precisely why it needed to be done.
“When there are not many cars on the road, this is a more dangerous situation for pedestrians as the cars in circulation are travelling at greater speeds,” he said.
He also drew attention to the fact that pedestrians were not allowed on the motorway and would be fined €86 for failure to comply.
At the same time, the police also announced a zero-tolerance policy against drivers parking on or near pedestrian crossings.
One pedestrian using the pelican crossing outside the Post Office near Eleftheria Sqaure in Nicosia slammed the plans.
“This is a total joke,” he said. “No driver ever stops for anybody at a crossing, where I would say it’s actually more dangerous to cross. The police should instead concentrate on the all-too-common sight of motorists who park on the pavements, forcing pedestrians onto the road.”
On Thursday, the police conducted a series checks between 7am and 6pm where 549 people were booked for a variety of offences.
Thirty-eight people were each fined €86 for parking on a pedestrian crossing, while 15 drivers were charged with not stopping at a crossing. The rest violated other, unspecified traffic laws.
A total of 120 pedestrians were given a verbal warning for not crossing at a designated spot, ahead of the adoption of the law.
What will they think of next. They don't enforce the traffic laws they have already!!