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09 December, 2022
 
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Police off limits as House tackles light bar use

Parliament to minimize light bar use by towing trucks, questions remain for ambulances and police cars

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A House committee is currently examining new rules to minimize the use of light bars by towing trucks, following complaints by motorists, but the bill won’t address ambulance and police vehicles even as some usage remains unclear.

During a house transport committee meeting on Thursday, members of parliament discussed ways to address excessive use of light bars by tow truck drivers.

Current traffic laws stipulate that towing trucks need to keep their light bars on while moving through traffic.

But motorists have been complaining to police over intense lights coming from trucks that are not in service, prompting legislators to draft a bill where usage would be specifically allowed only when approaching a vehicle to be towed as well as during loading and unloading.

'If you are going somewhere to pick up a vehicle, turn the lights on just before you get there, leave them on until you load the car, and as you leave turn them off'

Officials have pointed to motorists having the risk of being blinded by the lights or even being distracted while driving, with police sources telling Knews on Friday that excessive use was unnecessary.

“The logic behind it is quite simple, if you are going somewhere to pick up a vehicle, turn the lights on just before you get there, leave them on until you load the car, and as you leave turn them off,” a traffic official said.

But the amendment won’t regulate police vehicles and ambulances in public streets, including those reportedly not using sirens and not being in a hurry but still keeping their light bars on.

“If ambulances are not going to pick up a patient or in a hurry to get somewhere, they’re not supposed to keep those lights on,” the source told Knews.

Current legislation states that “registered ambulance vehicles in transit to receive or transport a patient may keep a red light on and visible from all directions as well as turn on a two-tone siren.”

But Knews has also been told the use of light bars by law enforcement vehicles is governed not by traffic laws but guidance issued by the chief of police, with the policy remaining secret for operation reasons.

Patrol cars are often seen in traffic with their lights on but police declined to comment on specific situations or conditions under which officers may or may not use the light bar.

“This is a matter of internal policy and it is not meant to become public knowledge for obvious reasons,” the source said.

The House committee will meet next week to discuss the issue.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  towing trucks  |  light bar  |  police  |  ambulance  |  transport  |  House  |  parliament  |  traffic law  |  legislation

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