The House of Representatives supported changes in the points system for drivers

The House of Representatives supported changes in the points system for drivers

>> The police measure the speed. Illustrative photo.

Prague – The points system for drivers will probably change and be simplified from next year. There should only be three groups of penalty points, fines for some serious offenses will increase. The possibility to drive a car from the age of 17 under the supervision of a mentor or a test driving license should apply. The amendment to the Road Traffic Act, which was supported by the House of Representatives today in the first round, takes this into account. The amendment gives the Ministry of Transport the right to establish an exception to the ban on driving trucks at a specified time; it mainly applies to weekends.

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According to the Minister of Transport Martin Kupka (ODS), the change in the law should, in the first place, bring greater safety on the roads. For drivers, the law and road traffic rules should be more understandable than before. According to the minister, the point system has proven itself and is an important tool for increasing road traffic safety.

The current system of penalty points should be simplified from five rates to three, i.e. it will now be possible to assign two, four or six points. For accumulated 12 penalty points, the driver will lose his driver's license, just like before. For the most serious offences, he will pay twice and that's enough, for moderately serious offenses then three times and that's enough, Kupka described.

For example, for driving under the influence of alcohol, the driver will receive six points instead of the current seven, but will pay a fine in administrative proceedings of up to 25,000 CZK instead of up to 20,000 today. If he refuses the alcohol test, he faces a fine of up to 75,000 CZK. In addition to alcohol, the maximum allocation of six points and a fine of CZK 25,000 can also be imposed for exceeding the speed limit by 50 or 40 kilometers per hour outside the municipality and in the municipality, entering a railway crossing when prohibited or running a red light. For that, the fine will increase fivefold to CZK 25,000.

The on-the-spot fine is doubled to CZK 5,500 for serious offences. For the final amount of the fine, narrow bands ranging from 500 to 1000 CZK will apply, so that the police officers can take into account the circumstances of the offense. For less serious offences, such as a passenger driving without a seat belt, the range is 1,500 to 2,000 CZK, for moderately serious offenses such as failure to give way, it is 2,500 to 3,500 CZK, and for the most serious ones, such as running a red light, then 4,500 to 5,500 CZK.

Penalties are reduced for minor offences, such as breaking the stop and stand ban, not turning on your lights, forgetting your documents or parking incorrectly. The upper limit of the on-the-spot fine is reduced from CZK 2,000 to a maximum of CZK 1,500, or the agreement, and points are not recorded. The rapporteur for the amendment Ondřej Lochman (STAN) pointed out that, on the contrary, fines are being increased for, for example, when someone blocks tram traffic by parking.

The possibility to drive a car under the supervision of a mentor from the age of 17 is supposed to contribute to greater road safety . The idea is to acquire driving skills under the supervision of an experienced driver-mentor with impeccable integrity. For a breach of duty, a mentor reported to the traffic office will face a fine of up to 25,000 CZK. From the age of 18, a young driver will be able to drive alone.

The amendment also stipulates that if the vehicle becomes an obstacle to traffic on the highway, the driver will always have to report it to the police. He will have the obligation regardless of whether or not he is able to remove the vehicle himself. The amendment also clarifies the obligation to transport people only in permitted places so that it is clear that, for example, people may not be transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle, the explanatory report states.

The test driving license is a preventive measure for novice drivers. If he commits a six-point offense within two years of obtaining his driver's license or his driver's license is revoked for a serious offense, he will have to attend a traffic psychology lecture and a so-called evaluation drive. It will be a four-hour lesson on the causes of traffic accidents and their prevention, as well as four hours of theory and driving in a driving school.

The current law prohibits the driving of trucks and other large vehicles on highways and first-class roads on Sundays and public holidays from 1:00 p.m. until 22:00. During holidays, such vehicles are not allowed to drive on Saturdays from 07:00 to 13:00 and on Sundays from 17:00 to 21:00. The government amendment gives the Ministry of Transport the possibility to grant an exception to this ban, for reasons of national security, protection of life, health or property, as well as an extraordinary event or elimination of its consequences. If the Ministry of Transport issues such an exemption, it will have to notify the police immediately so that the officers can be made aware of it. Legislators approved the possibility of a similar exception earlier, but it related to the obligation to observe mandatory driving breaks and rest periods.