This post was most recently updated on November 7th, 2020
Cyprus drives on the left because it adapted the road policies from the UK. The UK drives on the left. The majority of the countries that were former colonies of Great Britain still drives on the left. Cyprus was colonized by the UK for many years. Hence, Cyprus drives on the left.
Why do so many countries drive on the left?
Driving on the left side of the road goes way back to Ancient Rome.
At that time, the Romans used to maneuver their carts and chariots with their left hand, so that they could have their right hand free.
With the right hand being free, they could use the weapons and defend against the attacks from enemies. Roman soldiers used to march on the left side of the road too.
This habit continued into medieval Europe.
Most people were right-handed, so if a stranger passed by on the right of you, your right hand would be free to use your sword if required.
This ‘rule of the road’ was officially sanctioned in 1300 AD when Pope Boniface VIII declared that all pilgrims traveling to Rome should keep to the left. However, it has also been written that he directed them to keep to the right, and there is no documented evidence to back either claim.
The UK made the rule to drive on the left-hand side official in 1835 and brought the policy to its respective colonies.
Today, 30% of the world’s population drives on the left.
Cyprus Motorway Speed Limits
The speed limits are clearly marked in km/hr (kilometer/hour)
The maximum speed limit is 100 km/hour for buses, passenger cars, and motorcyclists. The minimum speed limit is 65 Km/hour.
The maximum speed limit is 80 km/hour for trucks (heavier than 3,000 kg) and also for vehicles with a trailer. The minimum speed limit is 65 Km/hour.
Driving a vehicle on a highway by a person who holds a learner’s license is not allowed, except for training purposes only and provided that he or she is guided by a licensed driver instructor, or for testing purposes for obtaining a full driving license.
Vehicles that have not been manufactured for speeding above 65 Km/hour are strictly not allowed to be driven on highways.
Cyprus Driving Age Rules
The minimum driving age is 18 years old.
The minimum driving age for learner drivers of salon cars is 17.5 years old.
Riding a motorbike is permitted from the age of 17.
Cyprus Driving Rules and Regulations
Drive on the left; overtake on the right. Overtake on the right, except when the vehicle to be overtaken is turning to the right.
Children under five cannot travel as a front seat passenger. Children over five and under ten must use a suitable child restraint system.
Horns should be used only when it is deemed necessary in order for the drivers to warn other road users of their presence on the road. Horns should not be used at any time in residential areas except in emergencies.
The use of hand-held mobile phones or other devices while driving is prohibited. Drivers wishing to use their mobile phones whilst driving must use a hands-free device. Nevertheless, this is not recommended. Speaking on a mobile phone whilst driving is a serious offense.
Crash helmets are required to be worn for all mopeds and motorcycles.
Smoking in a car with a person present that is under 16 years is prohibited; a fine is imposed for anyone who does not comply.
Eating and drinking whilst driving is prohibited.
If animals are transported by cars, they should be transported in cages or boxes that are specifically made for this purpose.
At junctions where there are no signs, drivers must give way to vehicles coming from the right.
The use of spiked tires and snow chains is permitted on mountain roads in winter.
An on-the-spot fine of €85 may be levied for illegal parking. The police do not clamp or tow away illegally parked vehicles.
The international three-color system of traffic lights is used in Cyprus.
Documents to bring while driving
- Driving Licence
- Proof of Insurance
- Two warning triangles are compulsory
- Vehicle registration information
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