By Trevor Hughes…
New Financial Penalties for Driving Offences
January this year, the Government announced a whole raft of increased penalty fines for traffic offences incurred. Increases for people who disrespect the road traffic laws here in the TRNC are as follows:
- Violating a parking offence 709 TL
- Drink driving first offence, 1002 TL
- Drink driving second offence, 3256 TL
- Drink driving third offence, 4018 TL
- Failing to provide a breath test when requested by the police 869 TL.
- Driving without a valid license 9918 TL.
- Failing to give way to a pedestrian whilst crossing a pedestrian crossing 687 TL.
- Not wearing a seat belt, including passengers, whilst driving 1008 TL.
- Driving on the wrong side of the road (TBA).
- Causing an obstruction to fellow road users and throwing rubbish out of the car window 488 TL.
- Driving without insurance 1008 TL.
- Exceeding the city center speed limit from 935 TL to 4002 TL depending on the speed of the car which you are driving at the time the police have notified you.
- Jumping the red traffic light signal 936 TL.
All the other offences can be categorized as driving without due care and attention
- Speaking on the phone whilst driving
- Having young people sitting in the front seat of the car
- Motor cyclists not wearing a crash helmet including the pillion passenger will also be categorised as driving without due care and attention
The Authorities have failed to include
- Dangerous tyres and their tread falling below the legally permitted minimums
- Lights not working
- Faulty mechanical parts
- Emitting excessive toxic exhaust fumes
If people go to Court to contest the fine, if still found guilty, the Courts/Judges could increase the fine or even give the guilty party a custodial sentence if they considered the offence worthy of a sentence.
One of our customers suffered a meter fire and has been without electricity since Christmas day. This is because Kibtec required a site plan and a copy of the Kocan in order to compile a quote for the meter renewal (for what reason I am truly baffled, as the cause of the fire was due to rainwater entering the meter box, not an overload).
They also informed us that, because of all the building work in progress, or not sold/finished, there is a shortage of new meters available and it could be weeks before they can find one to finish the job and reinstall the electricity supply.
Meanwhile, all the work which Capital Insurance covered has been completed and we are still waiting for this lunacy to be settled.
Gaz Tank Permits
The annual Gaz Tank permits are due for renewal at the end of February this year, although the amount to be charged has not been released, as yet.
Electricity Price Increase
Surprise, surprise the unit cost of electricity is on the increase! This time it’s going to be in two stages. The March increase will be 50% and the April increase will also be 50%. There is a Government discussion on how to charge bills based on the amount of electricity consumed.
Five essential steps you should take in a power cut situation
POWER cuts have hit homes across the TRNC in recent weeks as the nation was hit by a flurry of winter storms. What key steps should you take if your electricity goes off?
Power cuts can be sudden and bothersome, particularly if you weren’t expecting or are unprepared to lose electricity.
Power cuts can happen for a number of reasons, though unexpected ones are common during periods of extreme weather.
Acts of nature such as lightning strikes or flooding can lead to power outages. Similarly, high winds can result in trees or other fallen debris which can cause power lines to go down. Aside from the weather, Kibtek explains, that accidents may also be the cause of a sudden loss of power.They state: “Damage to cables can come from contractors working on equipment or even from people digging in their own garden.”Insulation of cables can also fail as it’s difficult to predict when this will happen.”Voltage dips and short power cuts may also unexpectedly occur, particularly in rural areas where overhead lines are hit by lightning or flying birds.”
What should you do if the power supply has been cut?
According to Kibtek, there are five essential steps people should take if their power suddenly goes out:
1/. Switch off
Residents are advised to switch off all electrical appliances in your home and items should not be left unattended, or better still, trip the switch located in your house board.
This is in preparation for the power coming back on suddenly.
In particular, items such as irons, ovens, electric fires and fryers could pose a hazard if the power comes back on when you are not there. Other appliances, such as fridges and freezers, should be covered with a blanket and kept closed to allow them to hold on to their cold temperature for as long as possible.
2/. Leave on
If you haven’t tripped the switch in your fuse board, leaving one light on will let you see as soon as the power cut has been rectified.
3/. Check on your neighbours
People are advised to check on neighbours, not only to see if they have had a power cut too, but also to ensure they are safe.
If it turns out they have power, your trip switch may have been activated.
Look out for any elderly or vulnerable neighbours and make sure they are prepared for a period of time without electricity.
4/. Wrap up
If a power cut happens during a cold spell or bad weather, and you don’t have a log burner or a generator, it is a good idea to make sure you have plenty of layers of clothes to wear.
5/. Try to keep heat in your home by closing doors and windows.
You should also make sure you have multiple torches along with extra batteries.
If you are expecting a planned power cut, it is a good idea to charge your mobile phone to full battery ahead of time.
However, in some cases, if large power outages are anticipated as a result of severe weather, Kibtek may ask people to refrain from calling to report the lack of power.
Road Traffic Accident be aware
A few days ago, I was talking to one of our customers outside our Bank. An ambulance with its siren screeching its way towards Lapta, overtaking slow moving traffic, went past my parked vehicle, and a car traveling towards Girne in the opposite direction ploughed into the side of my car, causing considerable damage.
The police were called who duly came to undertake their duties and made their findings, informing me that as I was the last driver to park the car, I was duly fined 400 TL. Their reason: if I had not been parked there the other driver would not have hit my car. I said I was not prepared to pay the fine as I was the innocent party.
Because both vehicles were insured by Capital Insurance, I did not need a police report meaning I was not going to be fined the 400 TL.
Update on our relocation
Due to the extremely slow reaction from Kibtek, our insurance office relocation has been put back until sometime in April 2022.