9/7/2007Cyprus: Problems Plague Faulty Speed Camera Network
Speed cameras in Cyprus are so poorly maintained and unreliable -- after just 11 months -- that the government may cancel the contract.
Shoddy maintenance and electrical faults have plagued the nearly one-year-old speed camera network on the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus. In 2005, the German firm Robot GMBH, won an eleven-year contract to deploy 450 automated ticketing machines intended to generate millions in annual revenue. The company delivered on its promise, raising £1.5 million (US $3.5 million) since October, but Cyprus Communications and Works Ministry officials met Wednesday to discuss options on dealing with the system's reliability problems. One possibility would be to exercise a contract stipulation that allows the government to back out in the case of systemic malfunction.
From the beginning, the speed camera system has not worked right. Robot hired a Nicosia-based electronics company called Electromatic to handle installation and maintenance. In 2005, it installed cameras facing the wrong way. The Cyprus Mail reported Thursday that most of the country's active cameras -- thirty-three fixed and seven mobile units -- have severe maintenance issues and are unreliable. Nonetheless, Justice Minister Sophocles Sophocleous insisted the 35,000 speed camera tickets issued would never be refunded. The government will still move to install another 120 cameras by the end of the year.
Robot GMBH operates traffic cameras in the US under the name Traffipax.