Following an increase in fatalities and accidents on Slovak roads, interior minister Daniel Lipsic wants to get tougher on drivers and tighten traffic regulations.
Lipsic has called on experts to prepare proposals over the next few weeks in the hope that the Ministry of Interior can then push through legislative changes by this summer. Lipsic wants to target mostly drunk driving, saying that a car becomes a weapon when the driver is under the influence, and so he plans to change this misdemeanour from being an offence to a crime.
Lipsic also plans to provide the police with drug tester kits, like those recently introduced in the Czech Republic. The consumption of certain drugs is now decriminalised in the Czech Republic, but it is illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence.
Another area that the minister wants to focus is to teach learner drivers better driving skills, with the possibility of drivers having to be accompanied by an experienced driver for the first year after receiving their driving license. Similar measures are already in place in 11 EU countries.
Anyone who takes to the road in Slovakia is well aware of the aggressive driving practices of some drivers, and this is another area that the Ministry is hoping to tackle. Reckless or aggressive drivers could now find themselves with a driving ban. What a revolutionary idea!
He also wants to set up more speed traps and give tougher punishments to drivers speeding in residential areas and at pedestrian crossings (zebra crossing in Slovakia are generally ignored by drivers). It might also make sense if the crossing were adequately lit.
As if to show that Lispic means business, the roads in Slovakia today have been swarmed by traffic police, at least in Bratislava. All too often, though, it is the common man that is picked out for mild offences, while the real dangerous drivers seem to get away. Hopefully the new attitude to road safety will change all this.
Nicely said Mike. I agree entirely. They put the shock adverts on TV in the Czech Republic and elsewhere in the EU, but in Slovakia they refused to show them. Surprising considering TV channels show trailers for vampire films and other bloody scenes during the day where little children (like mine) can see them and then have nightmares (like mine), while they won’t show the hard reality of idiotic behaviour of drivers who think they are immortal and that their cars can defy the laws of physics.
This subject is a real issue in Slovakia, the lack of respect for pedestrians and other drivers leaves me naucious. Curtious and safe driving practices with good road discipline is hard to find wherever you go at what ever time of the day. It does not help that the police can be just as bad on the road and do tend to negotiate the levels of penalties they issue to offenders. If these proposed measures bring down the ridiculous death toll, then I welcome them; however if the police don’t enforce the laws properly and if the government does not invest in educating the population via the public broadcasting of ‘shock tactic adverts’ to demonise the idiots out there, then I doubt anything will change fast!
Maybe a bit severe Badger, but sure it would act as a deterrent if you were standing there like big Arnold. I got fined doing 70 kph today taking my son to school on an uninhabited stretch of road, but I will be watching for the police and you next time, just in case…
Tool up the pedestrians. You speed up when I’m on the zebra with my kid, or you drive at me down the pavement, I unload both clips into your vehicle, soon solve the problem.