The Ministry of Transport of Cyprus announced on November 26, 2022, that an amendment has been approved to the Road Safety Act 2022 by the House plenum. The approved amendment will make it mandatory to include road safety messages in advertisements on selling cars and alcohol.
According to the amendment, the minster can (via decree published in the Official Gazette) establish the following requirements to improve road safety:
- Include road safety messages in advertisements that promote the purchase of vehicles or advertisements about the consumption of alcohol.
- Determine other ways to incorporate this type of communication into vehicle sales or alcohol advertising.
The first decree is to be issued in January 2023 after relevant consultation in December 2022.
We now have at our disposal an excellent tool, which we will use to promote and inform road safety issues,” said Yiannis Karousos, the Minister of Transport, as per CyprusMail.
Now in every advertisement, television, radio, digital, print or other, which is related to the purchase of vehicles and the consumption of alcohol, a relevant message about road safety will also necessarily be included.”Yiannis Karousos, Minister of Transport, Cyprus
Apart from the above bill, the Transport Ministry has implemented the following actions to improve road safety:
- Installation of the traffic camera system,
- Institution of road safety ambassadors,
- Grant schemes for protective equipment for motorcyclists,
- Increase in the road safety budget,
- Promotion of roadworthiness testing for motorcycles,
- Child-seat grant scheme for buses,
- Passing the electric scooter law,
- Completion of related bills for driving schools and instructors, and
- Bill concerning the mandatory recording and declaration of road collision damages in the history of each vehicle.
Furthermore, in February 2022, the Ministry of Transport submitted several amendments to the House to improve the driving license law. The amendments ensure that:
- Those who are learning to ride mopeds and motorcycles are accompanied and under the direct supervision of a licensed driving instructor.
- Those who ride motorcycles professionally must carry additional protective equipment, such as an airbag for motorcyclists apart from wearing a helmet.
Alcohol harm and policy in Cyprus
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the total per capita alcohol consumption in Cyprus in 2016 was 10.8 liters. This is above the average alcohol consumption reported in the WHO European Region – the heaviest alcohol consumption region in the world.
Cyprus currently has a national alcohol policy. With regards to road safety, Cyprus has a 0.05% blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for general drivers and a 0.02% BAC limit for young and professional drivers.
Currently, Cyprus implements evidence-based measures to improve road safety. However, road safety measures work best in combination with other alcohol policies. Therefore, the government has more options to further improve road safety and public health and safety more broadly, through alcohol policy soclutions, such as:
- Improving taxation (especially for wine),
- Increasing the minimum legal age for alcohol use,
- Regulating alcohol product placement, sponsorship, promotions, and
- Adding health warning labeling on alcohol products.