Stricter Penalties Improve Road Safety Statistics

By 14 October 2019

ZAGREB, October 14, 2019 - In the first two months since the entry into force of a stricter law on road safety, from early August to the end of September, police penalised 1,347 persons who committed the most serious traffic offences which carry a fine of between 10,000 and 20,000 kuna or a prison term of up to 60 days.

Of the 1,347 traffic offenders, close to 40% or 537 were arrested, the Ministry of the Interior said.

The ministry says that the most frequent traffic offences were driving under the influence of alcohol, with 528 cases of drivers who had more than 1.5 of blood alcohol content, 465 offences were about driving prior to obtaining a driver's licence, 216 were cases of driving while under a driving ban, and 118 cases referred to the refusal to have one's blood and urine sample taken.

In 1,078 cases police suggested that the relevant court impose a fine, while in 356 cases (more than 30%) they proposed a prison sentence. Courts ordered imprisonment for 100 offenders and did not order imprisonment for 111 offenders while other proceedings are still underway, the ministry said.

The maximum prison term of 30 to 60 days was imposed in cases when a driver had more than 1.5 per mille of blood alcohol content, drove before taking a driver's exam or drove while under a driving ban. The highest fine upheld by a court amounted to 30,500 kuna (4,120 euro).

The ministry says that the impact of the stricter penalties is evident in the number of road fatalities - in the first nine months of 2019, 35 fewer people were killed in road accidents than in the same period of last year.

In the first nine months of 2019, the number of road fatalities was 209 while in 2018 the number stood at 244.

The ministry notes that despite the harsher penalties, some drivers continue to commit grave traffic offences, which is why in the coming period police will continue with increased traffic monitoring, notably on weekends.

More traffic news can be found in the Lifestyle section.