Sunday, 13 March 2022

Croatian Drivers Accumulated More than a Billion Kuna in Fines in One Year

March 13, 2022 - Croatian drivers were responsible for more than 1 billion kuna in fines for traffic violations in just 12 months last year. Although there is a decrease in the total number of drivers cited, there is an increase in those who violate the rules for driving under the influence.

More precisely, if we managed to collect all these fines, we would receive 1,133,906,000 kuna for the state budget only from violations caught by police cameras and radars, or from cases in which traffic police officers found drivers violating traffic rules, reports Večernji List.

This amount does not include offenses that preceded traffic accidents. When we state the amount that should be poured into the state budget, we say “should”, because it is likely that about 70 percent of printed misdemeanor warrants will be collected, given that our legal system allows for various manipulation options.

Procrastination and the possibility of intentional "storage in the drawer" have recently been addressed by the Ministry of the Interior by centralizing the sending of notifications of violations, but dragging through the courts is still a pain in our system.

A total of 280,531 Croatian drivers were caught speeding last year, according to the records of the Ministry of the Interior. Depending on the speed achieved, their sins are differently "severe" and, accordingly, the penalties. However, if these fines were actually collected from speeding drivers, they would bring together as much as HRK 386,598,200. There were 5.4 percent fewer of them last year than the year before, but there are still far more of them than drunk and drugged behind the wheel, and the penalties for speeding offenses are in line with the seriousness of the crime itself. Thus, for example, for driving at a speed that is more than 50 km/h higher than allowed, you can earn a fine of up to 20,000 kuna, and the same awaits drivers who have tested the speed limit of cars in public transport.

These two categories of drivers, in addition to drunk and drugged, should - due to the way they endanger themselves and other road users - be subjected to psychiatric expertise, and together based on last year's violations, only the fastest drivers in city traffic (more than 50 km/h above the limit) and those caught at the vehicle limit should have paid HRK 32,145,000 into the budget.

With a total amount of HRK 250,601,700, DUI drivers follow the footsteps of speeding drivers. We are of the opinion that in this category - as well as in the highest categories of speeding - there should be no possibility of evasion from paying the fine, writes Sandra Mikulčić.

Driving under the influence of alcohol, or under the influence of drugs, is considered one of the greatest driving sins, for which even the most severe punishment is not severe enough. For a driver who consciously sits behind the wheel in a state in which he can neither perceive the situation on the road nor control the car he is driving, it is believed that he is not counted, so as such - with a high fine - as the police department should take his driver's license for a long time.

Seriously fast and drunk drivers are followed by those who believe that they can drive without passing the driving test. They should also be deprived of all HRK 98,595,000, down to the last coin, as well as those who drive a vehicle while their driver's license has been revoked (a total of HRK 52,065,000), who do not respect the red light (a total of HRK 19,130,000) or drive in the opposite direction HRK 14,161,000). Thanks to the number of offenses (46,251 drivers), the total amount of fines for using mobile phones while driving is serious, since last year they have accumulated HRK 46,251,000 in fines.

Just a little above the limit

On the other side of the scale are Croatian drivers who did not earn a misdemeanor report by arrogant and reckless violation of regulations, but simply - they were unlucky. For example, it was too late to change lanes. They did not correctly assess whether they were allowed to park somewhere or not. Somewhere we classify the most numerous category of speed offenders - those who are caught driving in the settlement at a speed of 10-20 km/h above the limit. However, a total of 101,865 of them earned HRK 50,932,500 in fines. While this may not seem like much to many, not wearing a seat belt (and such a report was written by police officers 77,833 times last year) is a serious threat to safety. To explain, in this category are Croatian drivers who have not tied themselves up and gambled with their own lives, but also those who have not transported children safely.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 4 December 2020

Parliament Amends Law Stipulating Fines for Not Wearing Mask

ZAGREB, December 4, 2020 - Parliament on Friday amended the law on the protection of the population from infectious diseases, making it possible to fine those who do not comply with anti-COVID measures.

Seventy-six MPs voted for and 53 against the amendments.

Parliament also tasked the government to report to it three times a year on the implementation of said law for the duration of the epidemic, with 77 votes for a conclusion to that effect moved by the ruling majority.

The government is expected to submit a report in January, June and September. Parliament rejected the opposition's amendments that the government report to parliament once a month on the implementation and effects of measures adopted under said law.

Two-thirds majority is necessary

The opposition insisted that the measures must be adopted by a two-thirds majority, with which the ruling HDZ disagreed.

We are in a state of emergency and Article 17 of the Constitution should be applied. We should and must have a two-thirds majority in parliament, said Tomislav Tomasevic of the Green-Left Bloc.

Branko Bacic (HDZ) said only the Constitution and constitutional laws were adopted with 101 votes, everything else with 76.

Arsen Bauk of the Social Democratic Party said the latest measures made mask-wearing mandatory and banned or restricted private gatherings.

It's time to admit that we are in a state of a big natural disaster from Article 17 of the Constitution, which requires a two-thirds majority, he added.

€65 fine for not wearing a mask

The amended law stipulates the obligation to wear a mask and bans or restricts public and private events and gatherings.

A person can be fined HRK 500 for not wearing a mask or wearing it improperly. Those organising a private party can be fined up to HRK 10,000, while the owner of a private property who organises or allows a private gathering can be fined from HRK 5,000 to 10,000.

Compliance with the measures will be overseen by police, civil protection, and state inspectors.

The government has reiterated a number of times that the point of the amendments is not fines but prevention and compliance with anti-COVID measures.

Offenders will first be cautioned, but if someone perseveres, they can be fined, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic has said, adding that the amendments will not give the police new powers and that no one will enter anyone's home, given that the home is protected by the Constitution.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Monday, 30 November 2020

Croatian Government Agreed on Fines for Violating Measures, Awaiting Parliament Confirmation

November 30, 2020 - At today's government session, which Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic led from home in self-isolation, the fines for violating measures in Croatia were announced. They have yet to be confirmed by parliament. reports that Minister Beros read the proposal of new fines. Thus, a natural person can be fined HRK 500 for non-compliance with the prescribed measures, i.e. the obligation to properly wear a face mask or medical mask.

A fine of HRK 5,000 to 10,000 is prescribed for the owner of private property if they organize or allow a private gathering against the provisions of the law.

Bozinovic also announced new measures at the borders, and Maric, Aladrovic, and Coric presented new measures to help entrepreneurs.

In the beginning, Plenkovic expressed regret over the incident in Vukovar.

"As for the pandemic, the numbers are still high today. Unfortunately, 74 people have died, the most so far, due to the high numbers in recent weeks. We are still in a very serious phase of the epidemic, I call everyone to be responsible, so we have taken restrictive measures," he said.

He then said he would discuss amending the Infectious Diseases Protection Act so that fines for individuals could be defined.

"We have based our fight against coronavirus on trust between citizens and the state. We are convinced that most fellow citizens understand the circumstances, but we also think that such a tool is necessary given that certain irresponsible individuals endanger the health of others. That is why we will propose changes to the law to the parliament," said Plenkovic, who chaired the government session via a video link from self-isolation.

Furthermore, Plenkovic revealed details of new measures for entrepreneurs.

"The new package of measures to help the part of the economy whose activities have been suspended because of COVID-19 will amount to HRK 2.1 billion, and will include subsidies for salaries, fixed costs and COVID loans," said Plenkovic.

These measures, he said, are in line with the policy of preserving jobs in the private sector. He claimed that the government has so far preserved 630,000 jobs and helped 107,000 companies, paying a total of HRK 7.4 billion.

He announced the continuation of support of HRK 4,000 for workers' salaries during the suspension of operations, with the exemption from paying contributions. This is a total net amount of HRK 320 million, and when the contributions are added up, it is HRK 470 million.

The government will also cover part or all of the fixed costs during the suspension of the sectors affected by the measures, if their turnover in December falls by at least 60 percent compared to last December. According to government estimates, the measure should cost HRK 250 million. In addition, he added, in cooperation with HAMAG-BICRO, a new package of COVID loans was prepared in the total amount of HRK 1.3 billion.

"We base our support for the private sector on these three points, i.e., those affected by the anti-epidemic measures currently in force. All in all, the package will amount to HRK 2.1 billion," Plenkovic said.

"In this way, the government meets the needs of the economy, entrepreneurs and employees and strives, as before, to help citizens, the economy and entrepreneurs in the very specific year of 2020," he added.

Minister Beros read the statistics on the number infected.

"The Ministry of Health called on the Headquarters to submit amended plans for the care of people suffering from COVID-19, as well as a notification on additional care," Beros said.

“Everything we do will not yield results if the personal responsibility of each individual remains,” he said, adding that the HQ’s measures are there for a reason.

Bozinovic reiterated the latest measures taken this weekend.

"As far as supervision is concerned, inspectors and the police have made over 4,000 inspections, they have issued 605 warnings. Forty-four misdemeanor orders have been or will be submitted," Bozinovic read.

"A new decision has been made on border crossings, and it is tied to European regions. Passengers coming from EU green areas do not need a PCR test or any other condition to enter Croatia. All others need a negative PCR test that is not older than 48 hours or are tested on arrival in Croatia and in self-isolation to await the test result.

But at the moment, the only green region in the EU is the island of Fasta in Finland," Bozinovic said.

“As for third-country nationals, they can cross the border with a negative PCR test,” he said. "EU citizens coming from third countries can enter Croatia with a negative PCR test," Bozinovic added.

Entry without a negative PCR test for EU citizens is allowed, for example, for seafarers and workers in the transport sector, transport providers, diplomats, staff of international organizations, persons traveling for urgent reasons, passengers in transit with the obligation to leave the country within 12 hours and patients traveling for necessary health reasons.

Border health workers, pupils, students and interns who travel every day do not have to have a negative PCR test, provided that they do not stay inside or outside Croatia for more than 12 hours.

Beros continued on fines for violating the measures.

"The bill prescribes a new security measure of the obligation to wear a face mask or medical mask properly, a ban or restriction on holding public events and gatherings, and a ban or restriction on holding private gatherings," Beros said at the government session.

The amendment to the law points out that according to the current course of COVID-19, the need to properly wear face masks or medical masks so as to cover the mouth and nose is unequivocally indicated, which reduces the possible risk of transmission. Proper use of masks is most important when people are indoors and when social distancing is difficult to implement or maintain.

The bill stipulates that the implementation of supervision over the application of safety measures for the protection of the population from infectious diseases is also carried out by police officers, inspectors of state administration bodies responsible for civil protection, inspectors of the State Inspectorate and inspectors of other state administration bodies.

Also, a fine for misdemeanors is prescribed for legal entities in the amount of HRK 10,000 to HRK 40,000 in case of non-compliance with measures prescribed by law, i.e., if they do not respect the ban or restriction on holding public events and gatherings or disrespect the ban or restriction on private gatherings.

A fine of HRK 5,000 to 10,000 is prescribed for misdemeanors of a responsible person in a legal entity, as well as craftspeople and natural persons who perform other independent activities.

For a misdemeanor of a natural person, a fine of HRK 500 is prescribed in case of non-compliance with the prescribed measures, or the obligation to properly wear a face mask or medical mask.

A fine of HRK 5,000 to 10,000 is prescribed for the private property owner if they organize or allow a private gathering against the provisions of the law.

Also, the provision on collecting fines at the place where the misdemeanor was committed is changed in accordance with the provisions of the Misdemeanor Law. Thus, the fine may be collected at the place where the offense was committed by a person authorized to supervise the implementation of safety measures to protect the population from infectious diseases.

To read more about coronavirus in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Company Penalties for Violating Measures in Croatia Can Range from 20,000 to 70,000 kuna

October 13, 2020 - As of Monday, legal entities in Croatia could also receive fines if they do not comply with the National Headquarters' decisions. A look at how much violating measures in Croatia could cost companies. reports that Krunoslav Capak says that we have had recommendations so far, but as of Monday, these are decisions that are subject to inspection.

"Chief State Inspector Mikulić also took part in adopting measures and is familiar with the control. Tomorrow (Tuesday), we will decide where the inspectorate will have a big role because it will carry out controls. Now there is a possibility of fining if the inspector finds anything, and it could range from 20-70 thousand kuna for a legal entity," Capak told Nova TV.

As of Monday, wearing masks is mandatory indoors, except in gyms.

"Gyms are not on the list," Capak said, noting that they are in communication with representatives of the fitness industry, but have not yet discussed the possibility of wearing masks in gyms.

"It's not possible to wear a mask during practice, but it could be during your stay on the premises. We haven't talked about it yet," he said.

As for the working hours of catering facilities in Zagreb, Capak says that the National Headquarters has not yet received a proposal from the Zagreb Headquarters, but they talked to the caterers and "tomorrow a decision will be made by the National Headquarters which will be valid in all counties." We should expect this today.

"It's crowded, a lot of people are riding buses, we asked local headquarters to prepare more frequent bus lines and limit the number of people, and if necessary, the National Headquarters will prescribe measures," Capak said of the upcoming All Saints' Day and added that there should be fewer kiosks with flowers and candles in front of the cemetery because crowds form around them as well. 

At the end of the year, the first coronavirus vaccine could be on the market. The Oxford vaccine could be approved very soon, and Croatia is already ready for storage and distribution because it has pre-registered for the vaccine and the European Commission.

"We have prepared storage and operation of the distribution center, the first tranche would be from 200 to 400 thousand doses," said the director, noting that the flu vaccine is already in Croatia. Vaccination is expected to begin at the end of the week.

"The first tranche is in Croatia and is being distributed, and vaccination is expected at the end of the week," he said, adding that the first tranche provided 250,000 doses for vulnerable groups.

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