Since the beginning of this year here have been 26 fatal accidents in Cyprus, resulting in 28 deaths, with 9 primarily attributed to careless driving and distraction, said on Tuesday Minister of Justice and Public Order Anna Koukkides – Procopiou.
In a press conference for the road safety awareness campaign titled “Eyes on the Road – The Phone Can Wait,” the Minister emphasized the urgent need for action, citing 7,331 formal complaints related to mobile phone use in 2022 and 6,367 from January 1, 2023, underlining the risks of mobile phone use while driving.
She highlighted the critical role of attention distraction in road accidents and urged public awareness about the dangers associated with mobile phone usage during driving.
The Minister emphasized that “a moment of attention distraction can have serious consequences,” noting instances during which drivers use their mobile phones while waiting at traffic lights, talking, sending messages, looking at social media, or even taking selfies. The Minister pointed out that based on the above, “drivers often underestimate the danger, thinking they can manage the situation, a risk due to the fact that a few seconds of attention distraction is equivalent to a blind journey of 70 meters when moving at a speed of 50 km/h”.
Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Alexis Vafeadis said, addressing the press conference, that one in ten drivers use their mobile phone while driving, and in urban areas, where the highest volume of road accidents and pedestrian traffic is observed, this percentage rises to approximately one in nine drivers using a mobile phone while driving.
He added that “in specific vehicle categories, such as light trucks, the percentage on weekdays is even higher, reaching approximately one in seven drivers.”
Regarding the Strategic Road Safety Plan for the period 2021-2030, the Minister stated that its goal is “to reduce road fatalities and injuries by 50% by 2030, following the objectives of the European Union, which has adopted the ‘Vision Zero,’ our long-term goal with a milestone in 2050”.