Freight forwarders association Cesmad Slovakia is contesting the plan of the Ministry of Transport to ban heavy goods vehicles (HGV) over 12 tons from using B-class and C-class roads.
The Ministry wants to push through the restriction as part of a draft amendment to the Highway Code, which has already been endorsed by the government. Head of Cesmad, Pavol Jancovic, referred to the revision as inadequately prepared and as bad legislation, and he made this point clear also at a meeting yesterday with transport minister Jan Figel.
Cesmad would like to see the amendment cancelled altogether, with the use of traffic signs at individual sections instead of a general rule being applied.
If the amendment is passed, it will make the lives of road hauliers much more complicated. On the other hand, it will probably cut down the number of traffic accidents and road deaths, and will certainly help maintain roads in a better condition.
Following the introduction of electronic toll payments on motorways last year, many truckers started using back roads so that they didn’t have to pay. Regional authorities became concerned about the burden this it was putting on the roads and the related damages, and so they turned to the Ministry of Transport requesting the legislative change.
Last year head of Trnava region, Tibor Mikus, estimated that about a quarter of all secondary roads are being abused by HGV trying to avoid paying the toll. Regional authorities argued that they did not have the funds to repair damaged roads, and that if the situation wasn’t remedied then the whole road network could face collapse.