On July 15th , the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus has voted for the amendment of the Bicycle Traffic Regulation Law of 2018 (hereinafter referred to as “the Law”).
The Law, which previously has been applicable solely to bicycles, now applies to any other Personal Mobility Devices (hereinafter referred to as “the PMD”). In its turn, a PMD in the amended Law is defined as “a self-propelled device, with any form of energy, which can carry a seated or standing person having a steering wheel and at least one drive shaft, as well as at least two wheels as points of contact with the road”, thus including the so-called “e-scooters”.
General Rules and Prohibitions.
The general rules and prohibitions with respect to PMD are included in the Part IIA of the Law. One of the first requirements for the use of such devices is that the operator of the PMD has to be at least 14 years old. Furthermore, the Law imposes a positive obligation on the owner of the PMD (including any legal entity, which operates and/or stores PMD), or a parent, or a guardian of the minor, to do all the necessary actions to prevent the use of the PMD by the minor.
The use of a PMD (which can develop speed of maximum 20 kilometers per hour) is only permitted on any road on which there is a posted traffic sign that sets the maximum permitted speed at thirty (30) kilometers per hour, and/or on any cycle path, cycle lane, or in an area that is an extension of a cycle path which is intended to provide the possibility of its shared use by cyclists and pedestrians, and which carries a special traffic sign for this purpose. It should be noted, that it is prohibited to use a PMD in any square, or on any pedestrian street, except following a decision of the relevant Municipality or Community in which traffic areas are defined as permitted, and which would bare a specific traffic sign permitting such use with speed limit set at ten (10) kilometers per hour.
During the use of the PMD, the operator shall wear a properly attached protective helmet, and it is prohibited for the operator of a PMD to carry any person as a passenger in any part of a said device unless the design provides for such transportation, and the passenger is:
- over twelve (12) years of age;
- he/she is seated in a seat provided by construction for this purpose, and sufficiently fixed to the frame of the device in question, in accordance with the manufacturing specifications of the device;
- wears a properly fastened protective helmet;
Furthermore, the use of a PMD by a person on any highway, or a high mobility way, which is designated as such by a special traffic sign, is prohibited. Finally, It is prohibited to use the PMD by a person who is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, applied by analogy with the provisions of the Road Safety Law.
Violation of the above-mentioned provisions of the Law, entails in case of a conviction, a fine not exceeding one thousand euro (€1,000), or imprisonment for a period not exceeding three (3) months, or both of these penalties.
Minimum Equipment and Operation of Business.
The Part IIIA of the Law provides for specific requirements relating to the equipment of the PMD. Each PMD shall have:
- brake system;
- a white or yellow light, permanently attached to its front, which is visible from a distance of not less than one hundred and fifty (150) meters;
- steady or flashing red light at the rear, which is visible from a distance of no less than one hundred and fifty (150) meters;
- a special bell (bell) or siren, suitable so that the sound produced during its use can be perceived at a sufficient distance;
- Tires that ensure sufficient traction on the road surface or on any other terrain on which the PMD moves;
It must be noted that there is a liability under the Law imposed on the person who manufactures and/or assembles and/or imports and/or sells and/or disposes of in any other way of a PMD, which is intended to be used in permitted traffic areas, to ensure that said device has the minimum equipment and the characteristics specified above. Furthermore, during the sale and/or other disposals of the PMD, the seller and/or the person who disposes of the device in any way, must ensure that the proof of sale or other disposals of the said device is accompanied by a written certificate (hereinafter referred to as “the certificate”) from the person who has manufactured and/or assembled and/or imported the device or its authorised representative, that the device has the equipment and features specified in the provisions of the present Law.
In a case in which the person who has manufactured and/or assembled and/or imported the PMD and/or its authorised representative is unable to provide the certificate, the seller or the person who has the device in any way, ensures that the proof of sale or other disposal is accompanied by a written certificate from a mechanical engineer registered under the provisions of the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber Law, which certifies that the device complies with requirements of the Law.
Finally, It is further provided that, on the date of entry into force of this Law, a person who owned a PMD, in order to be able to use it in authorised traffic areas, has to secure prior certification either from a person who manufactures and/or assembles and/or imports and/or sells a PMD either by a mechanical engineer registered under the provisions of the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber Law.
Licensing for Businesses renting PMD.
For the operation of businesses renting PMD, within the boundaries of Municipalities or Communities, the businesses in question shall secure, on an annual basis, a license to operate and circulate their devices from the relevant Municipalities and/or Communities, by submitting a relevant application, or which is accompanied by the following:
- a copy of the id card or registration certificate of the company, in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Law, or a cooperative registration certificate, in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Cooperatives and Partnerships and Trade Names, depending on the form in which the company operates the business;
- the certificate for each PMD, which the business intends to make available for rental purposes;
- a written record of the rental procedures of the business, in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Law;
It must be noted that additional documents/information may be required by the Municipalities and/or Communities.
The person or Business who manufactures and/or assembles and/or imports and/or sells and/or disposes of in any other way the PMD in case of the violation of the above provisions of the Law, commits an offense and in case of conviction is liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand euro (€5,000), or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six (6) months or to both of these penalties.
Traffic Rules in relation to PMD.
Part IVA of the Law prescribes Traffic rules during the operation of the PMD.
A person operating a PMD must:
- comply with the indications of traffic signals and traffic lights that regulate the traffic of vehicles, motorized and non-motorized;
- not move outside the designated traffic lane;
- comply with signals and instructions of a police officer who regulates traffic or a person who regulates traffic at a pedestrian crossing outside a school;
- maintain increased attention when moving in permitted traffic areas;
- give priority to the passage of a pedestrian who is moving or has expressed his intention to move in a timely manner in a pedestrian crossing, square or pedestrian street crossing a cycle path, or cycle lane;
- make every possible effort to facilitate pedestrians, especially children, moving in the same permitted traffic area;
- not carry any person as a passenger in the Personal Mobility Device, except if allowed in the present Law;
- manifest his/her intentions in a timely and visible manner with the appropriate hand signal for each case;
- not park, place or leave the PMD on a cycle lane, cycle path, cycle path or road surface
- not park, place or leave the PMD in a square, footpath, or sidewalk, in a way that obstructs or is likely to obstruct the free movement of pedestrians, cyclists, people with disabilities, or other users of PMD;
- not move parallel to the left of another PMD user or cyclist;
- not tow or push any object which is not intended by construction to be towed or pushed by a PMD;
- not allow the PMD to be towed by another vehicle, motorized or not;
- ensure that lights are in operation;
- wear a properly fastened protective helmet;
A person who violates the above provisions of the Law commits an offense and, in case of conviction, is subject to a fine not exceeding one thousand euro (€1,000).
Entering into Force.
The present Law enters into force upon its publishing in the official gazette of the Republic except from the provisions relating to the Equipment, which shall enter into force on 1st March 2023.