After a series of serious traffic accidents caused by drunk drivers, the Interior Ministry has started to draft amendments to the Law on Road Traffic Safety, reports Index.hr on November 6, 2018.
Just last weekend, the police identified 4,588 violations of traffic rules, out of which over 1,800 were people driving faster than the speed limit. During the intensified traffic controls, 482 alcohol-related driving violations were reported and the highest measured alcohol concentration, in the amount of 0.34%, was recorded in Koprivnica-Križevci County.
In order to respond to the problem as quickly as possible, Interior Minister Davor Božinović met with representatives of the Faculty of Traffic Sciences. In addition to the minister, the meeting was attended by the Chief of Police Nikola Milin, his deputy Josip Ćelić, chief of police directorate Ivan Merčep and head of the Traffic Safety Department Josip Mataija.
This was not the first meeting of experts from the two institutions on the issue. While not solely responsible for the traffic safety, the Ministry of the Interior has started with the activities to find more suitable solutions, more appropriate to current circumstances, with a view to preserving lives and improving road traffic culture through expert working groups. The Interior Ministry has initiated the meeting on the basis of the opinion that in finding a high-quality and comprehensive solution it is necessary to achieve cooperation with the scientists who deal with traffic issues.
The sanctions currently prescribed for drivers by the Law on Road Traffic Safety do not fully meet their purpose, meaning that the perpetrators of the violations are not sufficiently deterred from repeating their illegal driving habits. Therefore, the intention is to move forward towards solutions that could include the permanent revocation of driving licenses, but also the seizure of vehicles which were used in committing a traffic offense. One of the proposals is to introduce liability for owners of vehicles which were used for committing traffic offenses.
“We will launch a legislative initiative to increase punishments for drivers who cause serious traffic accidents, especially those who belong to the recidivist category,” the minister said in a conversation with Nova TV. “In our opinion, the vehicle as a mean of committing a criminal offense should be seized even if the offence was not committed by the owner of the vehicle. The owner should assume the responsibility for giving the vehicle to the driver,” Božinović said.
The Ministry of the Interior has also supported the proposal of the Faculty of Traffic Sciences for the establishment of the centre of excellence as part of the faculty, which will bring together all the relevant authorities and work on strategic solutions.
In the first ten months of this year, 272 people died in 257 traffic accidents, with 185 dying on the spot, which is 68% of the total number of deaths.
For more on traffic issues in Croatia, click here.
Translated from Index.hr.