By Chris Elliott…….
Road Safety has been very much in the news here in the TRNC recently with 2 high profile road traffic accidents which prompted us to publish 2 articles on a number of websites and in social media pages. The first “Drive with care in Northern Cyprus and save lives!” click here which was read by many hundreds of people with comments being made where the article had been pasted and in response to requests from Turkish speaking people, this article was translated into Turkish and published again with even greater readings click here. This article has a widely watched UK road safety video portraying the horrendous consequences of using a mobile phone whilst driving.
In our second article “ Don’t be a Lemming, Drive Safely and be Safe in Northern Cyprus” click here this had included a dash/cam video sent to us by a reader showing the mad risks that drivers are taking on TRNC roads and the reading of this article far exceeded the other articles. The video we published was played 833 times and I know the owner of the video has told me it has been played 2 to 3 times more than 833 plays where he has shared it.
Morbid curiosity or what?
No doubt most of us could be guilt y of taking a chance when driving but that puts others at risk. Last week I was driving westward in the evening and as I was driving across the Pia Bella roundabout in Girne, a woman driving a white sports saloon drove in front of me from the left. Not uncommon you might say!
The real scary fact was that there was a child in the rear of the car standing up with its head out of the offside window. Can you imagine if I had not been driving with due care and attention, that child could have been badly injured if I had collided with the car driving dangerously in front of me and worse still killed or even decapitated. I wish I had a dash-cam in my vehicle as this incident could have been recorded.
What was that lady be thinking of. “Ohhhh I think I can beat this vehicle coming from the right”, and dashing forward just like the Lemmings.
Driving with due care and attention plus acting responsibly is a must for any driver who drives any form of vehicle on TRNC roads and a concerned reader sent us his views of an article published in a local TRNC newspaper which again highlights the need for everyone to act responsibly when driving .
Cyprus Today newspaper – December 17th 2016
“I have read the Cyprus Today newspaper article of 17th December regarding the mother suing for the death of her child in a car crash involving another driver travelling at a speed of 165kph.
The death of anyone is tragic and our hearts go out to the family.
However, in this article it stated that a child/car seat was removed to allow extra room for other passengers in the car
This gives rise to the question of how many passengers were in the car and were seat belts worn?
Over the recent few weeks there have been many deaths on the roads of the TRNC and various groups have voiced an opinion which tended to focus on the driving standards suggesting that further instruction is the way forward. Whilst I applaud the interest, I would suggest there is more to this phenomenon than retraining the drivers. The core issues İ would suggest include Education…Enforcement…Sanctions…and through such actions generate a change of attitude. Don’t forget in the UK, it has taken many years of educating the driving public of danger from drink driving, seat belt and mobile phone use to become anywhere near effective.
We have all read of who and what is to blame for the incident. Two recent examples challenge some of those assumptions…in one accident it was dark…yes a few days later a similar accident occurred when it was daylight. They may have been contributing factors however you should drive to the conditions you find yourself in. If you speed in foggy conditions and collide with a vehicle…is it the fog’s fault ..or your excessive speed? (In the UK this past week it was reported there was a 20 vehicle accident in foggy conditions with one women being killed).
There is no doubt in my mind that the problem requires a multi agency approach…a holistic view….aimed at introducing a raft of initiatives supporting each other across all the requisite agencies.
Some would argue that the poor standards of driving displayed daily are the result of poor instruction and weak driving tests…of course that may be something that requires examination. I’m sure it is one of a number of questions being posed. It is quite frightening when you consider after a relatively short driving test the new driver can proceed to the bypass and drive at excessive speeds without any control over their actions (mobile phone use) or standard of driving.
Taking the above into account…If İ may touch on Education…a critical element…. İ would suggest we educate our future drivers whilst they are already in the education system perhaps under the banner of social responsibility…..after all we are responsible for driving safely…when we are driving the vehicle weighing 100s of kgs a lethal combination of speed and a heavy object which we control…of course we have a moral and legal duty to drive safely.
Let’s be realistic here…short term responses and actions will not have any lasting effect…it needs a coordinated response over many years…unpalatable as that may seem ..yes it will cost money …it has to be done….the alternative is you or a member of your family may be the victim of a careless and downright dangerous driver!!!
In drawing this short note together, I have consulted with experienced accident investigators and other concerned citizens.
Stephen Collard – Operations Director
Civil Emergency Services Volunteers (CESV)”
To read the full Cyprus Today newspaper article, please click here