Traffic police officials are calling on rogue drivers not to block speed camera vans by deliberately parking their vehicles directly behind, warning them of fines in case they get caught.
According to police traffic director Tasos Ashikkis, law enforcement authorities are monitoring a trend on social media where photos show cars parked directly behind speed camera vans.
'When a police officer for example walks up to the vehicle parked behind a mobile camera and instructs the driver to move it, then there will be a fine if the driver fails to comply'
Ashikkis, who was cited by Reporter on Thursday, warned there could be fines issued to drivers who park their vehicles in order to shield traffic from being caught and given speeding fines.
“When a police officer for example walks up to the vehicle parked behind a mobile camera and instructs the driver to move it, then there will be a fine if the driver fails to comply,” Ashikkis said.
The traffic director clarified that cases involving drivers who park their car before a van takes position do not fall in that category of violators.
But local drivers often complain about operators of speed camera vans, saying in some cases the patrolling vehicles do not obey traffic rules and even try to hide.
Members of parliament have registered the issue for debate, after speed camera vans were discussed last month in the House.
AKEL MP Costas Costa told a House committee that drivers said they saw van operators speeding, setting up shop in bus stops, and even illegally parking on the roadside in the opposite direction.
“They even set up their cameras exactly at the point where the speed limit changes, for example, from 70 kilometers it drops down to 50,” Costa said.
Ashikkis says he is aware of the problem but cautioned some cases could involve photoshopped situations, referring to images that may be edited with software or may not be real.
“We often get sent photos from citizens who want to express their frustration about some mobile cameras, but we look into every photo material because sometimes they could be edits in Photoshop,” Ashikkis said.
Knews understands it may not be illegal for drivers to park behind a speed camera van.
But the traffic director said that were usual suspects exhibiting this kind of behavior, adding that those drivers will receive citations if they continue.
In cases of innocent parking, Ashikkis said a police officer will often instruct drivers to park elsewhere.
“It goes without saying that under no circumstances will drivers who park legally be moved in order for the camera van to park in its place,” he added.