In an attempt to improve road safety in Cyprus
, the government has launched a new regime designed to remove dangerous drivers from the road with immediate effect irrespective of other fines / penalties that might follow. The law will apply to residents and tourists alike, so if you're renting a car in Cyprus
you could have your license suspended for more serious driving offences.
As of 10 February 2020
, police will have the powers to immediately suspend driving licenses of drivers deemed a danger to other road users pending further penalties. Should police deem any of the following criteria applicable, they can exercise their new powers to suspend ones driving license with immediate effect;
- Drivers caught driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs twice within a 12-month period
- Drivers caught driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs at more than 75% over the speed limit
- Drivers testing positive for both alcohol and drugs at the same time whilst driving
- Drivers caught speeding at more than 75% over the speed limit twice within a 12-month period*
- Drivers caught twice within a 2-month period with an alcohol reading exceeding 71mg (limit 22mg)
- Drivers caught driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding at the same time
- Drivers who cause an accident whilst under the influence of alcohol or speeding at the time*
- Drivers who hold a professional license (taxi / bus / lorry) caught driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs or speeding*
*subject to when the offence is not regulated by out of court fines.
Will this affect rental car drivers?
Yes, whether you are resident or renting a car in Cyprus, the laws of the road apply equally. In fact it is not uncommon for traffic police in Cyprus to hand out harsher penalties to rental car drivers and tourists, particularly for speeding. Where local drivers may flaunt the low speed limits in Cyprus, police are generally lenient, however as rental cars in Cyprus have red number plates
, they are easily distinguished by traffic police. Should you fall under any of the above criteria you will have your license suspended and for more serious offences may face prosecution / fines in the courts.
For Brits renting cars and driving in Cyprus, we strongly recommend not drinking alcohol if planning to drive. With an alcohol limit of 0.05% BAC (lower than the UK’s 0.08%) you could easily find yourself tipping over the limit and with lower speed limits that you may be used to you could easily find yourself breaking the law.
Cyprus already has the joint-slowest maximum speed limit in Europe at 100kph, recently joined by the Netherlands who cut speed limits
in a recent move to meet EU emissions targets.