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12° Nicosia,
06 March, 2021
 
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Bikers plan drive-by rallies against ban

Police stand firm on noise pollution measures, organized bikers say blanket bans are unfair and unlawful

Newsroom

Organized bikers are determined to take police to court over a recent ban on motorcycles, saying measures against violators to combat noise pollution in specific areas are unfair to law-abiding citizens who ride motorcycles.

According to local media, a group representing organized bikers in Cyprus is prepared to take matters to civil court, after describing as failure their meeting with Police Chief Stylianos Papatheodorou.

Earlier this month, police had issued a series of bans on motorcycles and quad bikes, including motorized tricycles, for specific areas in all districts, essentially banning them on main avenues during specific times.

Reports said the police chief had issued the ban following complaints by residents and business owners in areas where noise pollution was a big problem.

But bikers demonstrated against the measures, saying it was a blanket ban on all motorcycles including law-abiding citizens.

Bikers called on law enforcement agents to 'do their job' and go after violators, saying a blanket ban on everyone was an extreme measure and they were prepared to take matters to court

After a meeting between biker representatives and the police chief took place this week, it was announced that the measures would be modified to include fewer hours, fewer days according to conditions in each district.

For example, in Nicosia the new ban would be in force only on Sunday early mornings for the month of August between 1am and 5am, concerning main avenues including Griva Digeni where many speed and noise violations take place.

But after the meeting, the bikers issued a statement saying the modified measures were not acceptable.

“Unfortunately the police force does not understand the issue of deprivation of freedom, discrimination, and insult against our group following this ban,” the bikers said.

Bikers called on law enforcement agents to “do their job” and go after violators, saying a blanket ban on everyone was an extreme measure and they were prepared to take matters to court.

Traffic police director Yiannis Georgiou responded to criticism, saying bikers were being “unfair” and called on them to “respect the rights of other citizens.”

“There are tourists and locals who sit down at restaurants and cafes wishing to enjoy their meal or coffee without having to suffer through the irritating noise of a modified exhaust,” he said.

But a biker group representative, Zanettos Koumasis, was quoted in local media as saying that the ban was discriminatory against motorcyclists and their freedom of movement.

Other bikers also said it was unfair that they were being targeted as a group while police could focus their attention on those who cause problems.

Police sources told media outlets that speed chases around town were dangerous while the installation of speed bumps was not possible everywhere.

Bikers said they demanded that the entire ban be lifted, but indications from police headquarters suggested there were no plans to cancel the measure.

Reports said protests and drive-bys were scheduled for Friday early evening in all districts, where organized bikers will send the message that they do not accept to be targeted unfairly by police.

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