MPs call for checks by police and local authorities – "Buggies are registered as tractors"

The biggest problem that exists is the issue of policing, said the President of the Motor Vehicle Rental Association

Screenshot 3 15 Police, Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Quads

The issue of the use of four-wheeled motorcycles, also known as pigs, four-wheeled buggies and scooters was discussed today by the Parliamentary Committee on Transport with the MPs asking for checks and implementation of the legislation by the Police and local authorities.

In his statements after the session, the President of the Commission, Marinos Mousioutas, mentioned on the issue of four-wheeled machines that some of the buggy type vehicles are registered as tractors and in order to be able to drive them one must have a special permit for driving a tractor and he wondered how many of the tourists who come to Cyprus have such permits.

So he said, "what needs to be done is a thorough investigation by the Police and checks, especially in the tourist areas where these vehicles are more massively rented. Check at least that those who rent them have the right to drive them" he said, mentioning that "unfortunately uncontrolled use leads to accidents".

The President of the Commission said that in the framework of the session the MPs asked the stakeholders to jointly consider ways so that the use of these vehicles is done in a safer way.

Regarding the issue of scooters, Mr. Musiouttas said that unfortunately a number of provisions of the existing legislation are not respected, specifically "the speed limit, the helmet, the areas in which they move, which everyone leaves when they finish using them".

As he mentioned, while there are provisions in the legislation, it still seems to be incomplete or even non-existent any control which according to the legislation must be done by the Police or the Local Authorities whether it concerns local authorities' traffic officers or any other authorized employees.

Abroad, he added, there are ways to control the scooters, either with built-in GPS that does not allow entering an unauthorized street, or with a credit card charge in the event that the user does not park the scooter in an appropriate space. "With these simple practices, we too can bring order to the use of these vehicles," he said, warning that if the actions that must be taken by those involved are not taken within the next quarter, he himself will submit a proposal for a law to abolish it, i.e. to consider the importation and use of these devices illegal.

AKEL Member of Parliament Valentinos Fakontis said that the circulation of four-wheeled motorcycles and buggies has become a scourge on the streets of Cyprus. "It has become clear that it is a dangerous means of transport not only for the drivers of the specific vehicles but also for the other users of the road network", he said, explaining that this can be seen from the many crashes and accidents that have occurred recently.

Regarding the issue of scooters, Mr. Fakontis said that in the context of the session, the need to tighten the legislative framework regarding scooters and the implementation of the legislation passed a year ago was underlined. "We gave a grace period so that the legislation (passed a year ago) could be implemented, but we have seen that nothing has been added," he said, indicating that the competent authorities, which are the Municipalities, did not do what they should have done.

"They do not proceed with the regulation of lanes for the scooters to circulate, they also do not define parking spaces and we see many scooters being uncontrolled and thrown on the sidewalks obstructing the movement of pedestrians and the disabled," he said, noting that neither the provisions of the legislation for the use of helmets and fluorescent clothing are applied.

Mr. Fakontis called on Municipalities and local authorities to proceed with the implementation of legislation to stop anarchy with scooters and to preserve public safety.

DIKO Member of Parliament Chrysanthos Savvidis spoke of "ridiculous situations", given that some of the buggy-type vehicles are registered as tractors and are used on the roads. This, as he explained, is because many of these vehicles do not meet European standards and as a result are illegally rented without insurance.

"These vehicles are driven by tourists or locals, without any insurance and without any driving license," he said.

He said that despite the effort to record suggestions, nothing substantial has emerged to help so that there is greater safety and that the matter will return to the next session of the Transport Committee in an attempt to make changes in the legislation in the direction of safeguarding safety.

Regarding the issue of scooters, Mr. Savvidis said that despite the fact that legislation was passed a year ago, nothing has been done to date. "The local authorities have not proceeded to define the areas where the scooters will circulate, those who use them, do not use fluorescent clothes or helmets and drive them on roads with a limit of 50, 65 and 80 km/h" he said, also mentioning that there is a problem regarding the parking of rental scooters on sidewalks, making it difficult for pedestrians, even the disabled, to access.

Finally, the President of the Motor Vehicle Rental Union (ENEMO) Nikos Stylianou said that every year the same issues are discussed, indicating that the biggest problem that exists is the issue of policing.

“The policing that is there, right now as we speak, for this season, if you go down to Ayia Napa, it's non-existent. The tourist does what he wants, we do everything we can to prevent accidents as much as possible," he said, adding that there should be a check after renting the vehicles.

"There has to be policing to make them comply, we can't keep chasing them from behind," he said.

Regarding the issue with four-wheeled four-seater buggy-type vehicles, Mr. Stylianou explained that there is a category of these vehicles that are registered in category T1, which is the category in which tractors are also registered.

"To drive this particular vehicle you must have a tractor driving license," he said, adding that some owners of such vehicles who do not belong to ENEMO rent them out illegally, without a driver's license and without insurance.

This issue should be resolved by the Road Transport Department and the Police, he added.

Source: KYPE