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Speeding Tickets in Northern Cyprus

Having an unexpected visit from an English friend who was in Cyprus for a day on business, I wanted to show him around in the evening. The only sight I could think of to show him in a short time was the main attraction of the capital Nicosia – the divide.

But as we crossed the Green Line demilitarized zone looking at the bullet holes in the old buildings and UN efforts to patch up the destruction, I got a nasty surprise.

I handed over my passport for what is normally a routine check to cross the border, and was informed I had committed two speeding offences totalling 120 Euros. Fair enough they had a note of my vehicle registration number, but what really annoyed me was that one of the offences allegedly occurred in January 2009, a full 10 months ago.

The woman at passport control was quite nice and explained in halting English that the limit is 65 kms but that you can go at 75kms no problem. Apparently I was only 4 kms above at 79kms. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) speed limit is actually 100 kms and I think she just got confused on this because 100kms is 65 miles per hour. When I asked for proof that I was speeding, neither her nor the policeman's English extended to this. But between her telling me it was 120 Euros and visiting the policeman to have the documentation drawn up, the price mysteriously went up to 140 Euros.

Northern Cyprus Border

This is the first time I've been cautioned for speeding. I have only been driving for a year so I'm not sure what the procedure is, but would think that proof would be necessary. The most annoying thing is to get a speeding ticket from 10 months ago when I have been backwards and forwards to their country about 10 times in the interim period.

There is every possibility that I was speeding, though I find it hard to believe I was going over 100kms as a new and inexperienced driver in a foreign country. It could possibly have occurred at one of those times when I was lost and angry. Right now I am tending towards paying it and will just have to look at it as doing something for their impoverished government.

However, as the TRNC is not legally recognised as a country, I believe I would be well within my rights to not pay it. Whatever happens I certainly won't be going back to Northern Cyprus, so if they are looking to squeeze some money out of tourists it will backfire.
Map Cyprus - Northern Cyprus

According to the Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today and new figures released by the police: "More than 6,630 Greek Cypriot motorists have been caught by speeding cameras in the TRNC.
"Details of the licence plates of speeding cars were passed to police at crossing points. A total of 3,439 speeding tickets have been handed out, while there are another 3,193 waiting to be served."

Those high figures make me think there is quite a bit of money to be made by handing out speeding fines. One local Cypriot businessman I talked to said that he had been "stung" last year four times on a single journey to Kyrenia alone. He recommends paying the fine unless you are going not going to the North again (the fines have to be paid in that instance as they will not let you through until you pay). The next time he went to the border they slapped him with the fine and took away his licence for three months. In the TRNC your licence is held for three months if you get more than three offences in a three month period.


North Cyprus Speeding Ticket Part 1

Phil Partridge
Posted: February 04, 2024 by Phil Partridge 6 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Last updated: Sunday, February 4, 2024
c j
I holiday in the North often and have never had this problem. I think its very easy to call "foul play" as an excuse when one is embarrassed for being caught out.

The machines are programmed, there is no racket, and to suggest otherwise is quite funny.

If you want to hear of "rackets" when me and my partner went to the Greek side (walk crossing) they took our passports then stole my watch off my wrist claiming it was fake. They took 3 pairs of new shoes and various other items claiming they intended to "destroy" the "fake" items - and if we didn't hand it over we would be arrested.

THAT is a scam, not getting caught speeding.
7/4/2014 6:48:56 PM
We had a similar problem. Last September (2013) we were crossing into in North Cyprus and charged for a speeding fine from two years before. In April 2014 we crossed over again and were charged for another speeding fine (64km in a 45km limit at Iskele). While paying this second fine I noticed an officer typing out another speeding fine notification: the name was English and again the place was Iskele. My partner who was driving for 35 years has had two speeding fines in that time in the UK: in two weeks driving in the north we collected two fines - a racket, of course
4/11/2014 3:33:19 PM
Having picked up more speeding tickets in the past 3 months travelling to the north than I have in 45 years of motoring in the UK and all over Europe, this seems to be a 'racket' that northern Cyprus thinks will earn them useful extra dosh. I firmly believe they single out tourist vehicles, those with rental plates and slap the fines on this poor unsespecting group. This will be an own goal because I, like others, will avoid travelling north ever again, despite having spent plenty of money on hotels and long term rentals over the border, but no longer. Somebody needs to investigate this little spurious business and put a stop to it immediately!
7/9/2012 10:43:34 AM
No matter how safely you drive, sometimes you just need to speed to get somewhere fast, whether you've got a real emergency or you're just running late. Or maybe you didn't notice that the speed limit was a little lower than in most neighborhoods and you got busted.
Imagine how much more relaxed you'll feel if you aren't always checking your rear-view mirror for the police officers?
No lawyers, no clinics, no services that end up being just pricey as your ticket. How is this possible?
2/4/2011 3:45:29 PM
Puts me off driving in the North!
10/20/2009 9:58:37 AM
Yeah we had the same problem ourselves, It's a bit of a piss take going to the north cause they make you pay 40 Euros for insurance which probably doesn't even cover you and then they give you speeding tickets as well. It's a shame you can't take car hire Cyprus over the border.
10/20/2009 9:35:45 AM