Interior minister Daniel Lipsic is out again to show he means business when it comes to discipline on Slovak roads.
At a press conference yesterday he laid out the details of a new revision to the law, which will class driving under the influence as a crime. Those committing 3 offences of driving while drunk in the space of ten years will be hit with a lifetime driving ban.
In an effort to deal with the many overzealous young drivers, the revision will cut the legal driving age by a year to 17 but with the condition of being accompanied by an experienced driver (10 years) for the first year. Lipsic referred to Germany as a good example of how this kind of system works and cuts down accidents by inexperienced drivers.
The plan also hopes to finally get people on Slovak roads to respect pedestrian crossings, not a widespread habit at present, but only by increasing the fines for failing to stop at a crossing up to EUR 300. Maybe some of the money can be used to put lamps up to illuminate pedestrian crossings, many of which are hidden in the dark with faded paintwork.
The new rules have to be appreciated by anyone who drives in Slovakia, but there is always the question of how it will work in practice and if the police patrols will be sufficient for the job of enforcing the rules.
Overall, it would probably be wise to focus on educating people more when they pass their test, or if they cause an accident, by showing them some of the horrific accidents that happen and by teaching them the meaning of respect on the roads.