Friday, 08 July 2016 21:15

Rowdy racing on Limassol's seafront

Limassol's seafront - a playground for many Limassol's seafront - a playground for many

Limassol’s seafront road has turned into a favourite playground for many it appears - much to the annoyance of residents and bar owners in the area. Especially on weekends one can witness stunning displays of motorcyclists’ prowess and impressive speeds reached by drivers. And accidents cause by reckless driving.

Limassol’s main road running along the seafront, especially the stretch called 28 October Street, has literally been turned into a race track, or at least an alternative highway by drivers and motor cycle riders. Not an ideal location really.

As one resident of the area reports, the situation has gotten worse over the two years she and her husband have been living here. “There seems to be no police surveillance whatsoever,” she complains. “We cannot watch television in the evening with a window open as it’ll be drowned out by the deafening noise down in the street.” She reports that usually the culprits are young men 17, 18 years old, with no helmet, holding up cars, riding in groups of 5-10, often on their rear wheels, sometimes even with passengers.

Apparently especially on weekends there are motorcyclists with extremely loud exhausts revving up their engines during all hours of the night, using the main road or roads around certain apartment blocks as their ‘race track’.

At their wits’ end

“We do not know what to do anymore,” says one bar owner. A petition signed by many several years ago had lead nowhere and he feels the police is turning a blind eye on something that is all too obvious. “It has turned into a sport. They meet at the big parking lot and actually use specific traffic lights as their ‘starting line’. They have figured out the exact timing of the lights to be sure they catch the next one green at the outrageous speed they are going.”

Customers of nearby outdoor cafes and restaurants are regularly seen leaving without ordering once they realize the noise they are exposed to. The bar owner explains that especially big motorbikes are very loud, their engines often having been modified and license plates removed.

Uninsured an illegal

Modifications to make motorcycles and cars faster and/or louder are generally undertaken after registration and illegal, as explained by an insurance agent of one of the island’s leading car insurers. If such a vehicle or motorbike is involved in an accident, its claim is uncovered. Furthermore, Cyprus applies European directives, which state that any damage or injury to a third party will be covered and then recovered from the client, by court order if necessary.

One car owner reported being involved in such a case at the moment. He had his car parked, safely and legally in a space, along the seafront road to have a coffee in the Germasogeia area when at about 4am they saw a car at very high speed. It caught one parked car’s rear-view mirror, making the driver lose control and the crash into his parked car with such force that it was pushed ahead for several meters and up onto the sidewalk. It is totally damaged. The young driver of the speeding car had to be rescued out of his wreck by fire fighters, but miraculously only suffered a broken jaw according to police reports.    

Police doing what they can

In an interview with The Cyprus Weekly, Michael Michael, Officer in Charge at the Limassol Traffic Police Branch, says the police are doing what they can. In June a special campaign with daily patrols was launched to curb speeding and noise pollution. “This is becoming an increasing problem and we are making all efforts to combat it.”

If a citizen notices a particularly noisy vehicle or motorcycle, this can be reported to the police at 25 80 52 62. If the police are given the license plate number, they will contact the owner to bring his car/motorbike to the police for testing with special equipment measuring its decibels.   

It seems with summer just starting and young men being out of school, they should be getting lots of phone calls or at least collect a lot of fines and hopefully making the sea road a quieter and safer place.

 

 

 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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