Saturday, 20 August 2022

Big Brother is Watching: 1700 Cameras Placed Along Croatian Roads

August the 20th, 2022 - There have been 1700 brand new cameras placed along Croatian roads, and with numerous traffic accidents occurring every year, with that number heightened during the main summer tourist season, it's worth knowing about the systems put in place along Croatian roads.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, each and every tourist season, especially during its very peak, traffic accidents occur up and down the country on Croatian roads. This isn't remotely surprising given the intensity of the traffic at that time of year, it also shouldn't come as much of a shock because of the level of fatigue and the loss of concentration of drivers who sometimes sit behind the wheel without a break for much longer than they would otherwise. Accidents often occur because drivers put everything else aside, such as rest, in order to reach their destination as soon as possible. In such unfortunate cases, instead of enjoying the summer break, they often experience a tragedy on the road.

That's why it's good to know a little more about highway traffic camera systems that help respond to crisis situations along Croatian roads. Croatian Motorways (HAC) have now initiated the implementation of a new traffic information system on their roads, as part of which more than 1,700 digital cameras will be installed for a brand new video surveillance and video detection system, writes HAK Revija.hr.

"As part of this wider project, analog cameras will be replaced by new digital and more technologically advanced ones. The new cameras will be able to detect potentially dangerous situations quickly and more safely, such as instances of people driving in the opposite direction, a car which had stopped, pedestrians on the road, and owing to that, there will be a faster reaction involved informing other road users about the event, the location, and the current road conditions.

Automatic incident detection (AID) alert the employees at the Traffic Monitoring and Safety Centres (CNUP), located along the entire highway network, straight away. AID triggers an audible alarm in the event of an incident, automatically shows the location of the incident to the operator and records everything. In addition to the incidents already mentioned, AID warns of traffic congestion, slow vehicles and any loss of visibility. An alarm sounds in the tunnel when a loss of camera visibility due to the appearance of smoke due to a fire is detected," Croatian Motorways explained.

As stated by Croatian Motoeways, the new Crocodile 2 Croatia (Cro 2 Cro) traffic control and management system is part of the wider Crocodile project, which was launched at the European Union level. The introduction of this system will ensure the coordinated management and the proper control of traffic and see Croatia become part of the integrated ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) on European Union road routes.

What's the procedure from the moment the cameras record a crisis situation to its resolution?

"In the case of an extraordinary event, the operators at CNUP initiate the notification procedure in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedure and call the emergency services (112, and if necessary, the police, emergency medical assistance, the fire department, the patrol service, the water authority inspectors, and hunting authorities). Upon the alarm being sounded because of an extraordinary event, and in accordance with its classification, an algorithm and scenario are automatically launched, which sets adequate traffic signals on light-changing signs in order to inform other road users who might encounter the event in a timely manner about it, telling them to adjust the speed of their vehicle. The public is then also informed about the state and conditions on the road through HAK and HAC's websites,'' they stated from Croatian Motorways.

Then, upon arrival at the scene of the event, the same is ensured by the patrol service with adequate temporary regulation of traffic, until the extraordinary event is declared over.

"In the case of the need to remove the vehicle, a contractual contractor will be called to come to the scene in question and take the vehicle away. In the event of the need to close a section of the nighway, a corresponding protocol will be initiated and mutual communication is carried out between the managers of public Croatian roads in order to activate the appropriate traffic boards to guide detour traffic as soon as possible and allow the same traffic to flow," they noted.

When asked how much time passes on average from the event being recorded by the cameras to the reaction of the appropriate emergency services and their arrival at the scene, they stated from HAC that upon receiving the sounded alarm, the emergency and operational services are called without delay and they arrive at the scene very quickly.

For more on driving in Croatia, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 13 August 2022

Croatian Motorways Issues Advice as Another Busy Weekend is Upon Us

August the 13th, 2022 - The height of the scorching summer tourist season is now well and truly upon us, and with more and more foreign visitors entering the country either by air and then hiring cars, or by road through Croatia's many land borders, Croatian Motorways (HAC) has issued some advice to all those using the country's roads to head to their various destinations, usually on the coast.

Yet another busy summer weekend is upon us, and with an absolutely tragic accident involving a bus recently, which took the lives of several individuals, Croatian Motorways has made sure to make Croatia's road users aware of some of the realities of driving here at this wildly busy time of the year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, during the busy summer season here in Croatia, hundreds of thousands of vehicles enter the country, which increases the risk of accidents, some of which are fatal. The head of the Centre for the Supervision and Management of Motorway Traffic, Davor Bicanic, appealed to drivers to enable the creation of a so-called emergency corridor, as reported by HRT.

''All important information from Croatian motorways and roads, especially from critical sections, such as tunnels, arrives in real time to the control room of Croatian Motorways. We're currently implementing a traffic information system, as part of which we're replacing old analog cameras with new, more technologically advanced digital cameras, around 1,700 cameras are working at this moment in time,'' Bicanic pointed out.

"This new system has the possibility of providing automatic video detection of certain incident situations, such as people driving in the opposite direction, a pedestrian being on the motorway, a vehicle which has stopped on the road, and so on. Automatic video detection enables our operators working within the traffic control and management centres to react faster and provide the latest information to other road users who find themselves on the Croatian motorways and roads which have been affected,'' he added.

When it comes to the seemingly eternal problem of terrible accidents and some absurd moves being made by arrogantly over-confident drivers, Bicanic said that it would be nice if an emergency corridor became a routine for drivers using Croatian motorways.

"An emergency corridor enables the passage of emergency medical aid vehicles, firefighters and the police, to reach the scenes of traffic accidents as soon as possible and to provide assistance to the victims involved. The emergency corridor is formed so that vehicles in the left traffic lane move as far to the left as possible, and vehicles in the right traffic lane move as far to the right as possible. For the drivers, it's a small shift, but that shift means a corridor towards remaining alive for a critically injured person,'' stressed Bicanic.

For more on Croatian motorways and driving in Croatia, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 27 June 2022

Croatia's Part of Vc Corridor to be Completed in 2024, Minister Says

ZAGREB, 27 June 2022 - The Pan-European transport corridor Vc's section to Beli Manastir will be opened in late October and Croatia's 88-kilometer-long part of the corridor will be completed in 2024, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković said in Osijek on Monday.

After visiting the construction site, he said works were proceeding very well and that after the inauguration of the Osijek-Beli Manastir section, the HAC motorway operator would invite bids for the remaining five kilometers to the Hungarian border, a section estimated at HRK 300 million.

The total investment, including the bypass near Beli Manastir, is HRK 570 million, the minister said.

This transport corridor has big prospects as it will connect Budapest and the southernmost Croatian seaport of Ploče, he said, adding that works on the corridor in Bosnia and Herzegovina are expected to intensify.

HAC director Boris Huzjan said more than 90% of the Osijek-Beli Manastir section had been completed.

The 17.5-kilometer section is worth HRK 495 million, he said, adding that 59 kilometers of the Croatian part of Vc are currently in use and that 83 will be in use after the completion of the Osijek-Beli Manastir section.

Osijek-Baranja County head Ivan Anušić said Vc had a big impact on the City of Osijek and the county as well as on other Slavonia counties. This international route will facilitate the flow of people and goods between Budapest and Ploče, he added.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Digital Supercameras, New Video Surveillance Coming to Croatian Roads

May the 26th, 2022 - A large number of brand new supercameras and an entirely new and modern system are set to be installed along Croatian roads as part of an EU project.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as part of the modernisation of the entire system, a new video surveillance and video detection system will be introduced on Croatian, which will involve 1,727 brand new digital supercameras.

“Like any new system before it's commissioned, this one must pass a test phase and the validation process in order to make sure that it will react in a timely manner in real conditions. Given that the system is in a phase when it isn't possible to postpone implementation and testing, this is the only possible time period before the main tourist season when it can be implemented, and so that everything is ready by the end of 2022,'' a Croatian roads (HAC) statement said.

The closure of individual sections of motorways

During the implementation and testing of this new equipment, in order to preserve traffic safety and road users, there will be frequent closures of certain sections of the A1 motorway for all traffic. That traffic will be diverted to bypass routes during the closure, HAC said.

Crocodile 2 Croatia (Cro 2 Cro)

The new traffic control and management system Crocodile 2 Croatia (Cro 2 Cro) is part of the Crocodile project launched at the European Union (EU) level, writes HAC.

“The introduction of this system on Croatian roads will ensure coordinated traffic management and control, making the country become part of the integrated ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) on European roads. The new system will make it much easier for users to plan their travel and get information. The project is being co-financed by the European Union,'' they added.

What will the new cameras on Croatian roads be able to do?

“Along with the implementation of the new traffic information system, a new video surveillance and video detection system will be installed, which will significantly raise the level of road safety.

Analog cameras will be replaced by new digital and more technologically advanced ones. The new cameras will be able to detect potentially dangerous situations faster and more safely (such as when people are driving in the opposite direction, when there's a stopped vehicle, when there's a pedestrian on the road, etc.), and will as such provide a faster reaction in order to inform users about the event,'' concluded HAC.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

HAC Motorway Operator to Full Digitize Its Services by Year's End

ZAGREB, 24 May 2022 - The state-run Hrvatske Autoceste (HAC) motorway operator is going to digitize the network of motorways and the digitization is to be completed by the end of this year, the Jutarnji List daily reported on Tuesday.

This means that 1,727 analog cameras on the motorways will be replaced by digital ones and a completely new traffic information system will be introduced.

To this end, the HAC headquarters in Zagreb will set up a centre for traffic management and surveillance to collect real-time information on a state of affairs in traffic along all the motorways in Croatia, which includes the motorways managed by HAC and also the Istria Y motorway and the Zagreb-Macelj motorway.

For this expensive and demanding project to be implemented, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, and Austria together applied for the EU funds under the CROCODILE programme. Croatia has been granted HRK 100 million, which is 85% of the eligible costs, said the daily newspaper.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Good News for Drivers: No Croatian Road Toll Increase This Summer

May the 21st, 2022 - Good news for drivers from both home and abroad this summer as Croatian road toll fees aren't set to increase. There will also be an innovative new way of paying which hopes to streamline the process.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to a report from Net.hr, this year, just like the previous two pandemic-dominated years, in order to support the tourist season, the seasonal Croatian road toll increase of 10 percent will not be introduced.

The move comes as welcome news as we approach summer and as the cost to drive continues to be an issue for road users, with inflation continuing to force fuel prices up and making a full tank an expensive commodity.

"The measure of assistance to bus carriers also remains in force, meaning the application of the additional discount of seven percent for EURO 6 vehicles is being extended, which with the existing discount of 42.4 percent, amounts to almost 50 percent of the Croatian road toll price," they explained from HAC when dicussing this summer's plans for the country's motorways.

Hrvatske autoceste (Croatian roads) confirmed that activities are underway to prepare the public procurement of a new toll collection system to make things easier, as well.

"A tender will be announced at some point this year, and according to current estimates, the system could be completed by the year 2024," they stated from HAC.

The new toll collection system will be based on ''free flow'', without stopping any of the vehicles using the roads, and will be carried out with contactless payment methods. The system will enable a simpler and more technologically modern way of paying Croatian road toll fees, and will also increase the flow of traffic at toll stations so as not to cause traffic jams, bottlenecks or delays.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Croatian Motorways "Makeover" to Total 263 Million Kuna from Own Funds

May the 4th, 2022 - Croatian Motorways (HAC/Hrvatske autoceste) is set to spend a massive amount on a ''makeover'' of sorts. Here's precisely how a total of 263 million kuna will be spent.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, Croatian Motorways will soon get to work on the demolition of Motel Rastovica on the A3 Bregana-Zagreb-Lipovac motorway. A job tender worth around three million kuna is now underway, but, as was confirmed by Croatian Motorways, no new content will be built on the site after the removal of that facility.

What are set to be removed are old and neglected motel and bungalow facilities that have been out of function for a long time now, are in quite a dilapidated condition and, according to Croatian Motorways, pose a danger to the environment and the safety of resort users.

Their removal of Motel Rastovica and its accompanying facilities is part of a wider project of revitalisation and arrangement of the network of rest/stop areas and accompanying service facilities along the entire A3 route, and the construction of a new facility at a specific location is not currently planned, because, according to Croatian Motorways, there is already a very modern fuel station with a shop and a restaurant at that location, which provides a high level of service quality for all road passengers.

The A3 motorway is mostly an old motorway route where the rest area network requires general reconstruction, and in addition to restoring the rest area, new rest plateaus are being built in that direction, existing rest areas are being abolished and dilapidated and devastated ancillary service facilities are being removed. HAC, based on the projection of the optimal layout of rest areas with regard to their type and mutual distance.

The revitalisation project includes about 30 rest areas, and the investment, which Croatian Motorways is financing from its own sources and intends to complete by June 2026, is worth a total of 263 million kuna.

This year, the project will see the completion of the construction of the Crnec rest area on the Ivanja Reka-Jezevo section, the general reconstruction of the Jezevo-south rest area and the Nova Gradiska-Dragalic-north rest area, as well as the reconstruction of the motorway and removal of the Jezevo-north rest area connection.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Monday, 7 March 2022

Housing Ukrainian Refugees Could Alter Pre-Bankruptcy Saga for Motel Plitvice

March the 7th, 2022 - Motel Plitvice was in the news for its pre-bankruptcy saga until recent events began to unfold and the facility became a quarantine ''home'' for truck drivers infected with coronavirus, and now it has provided housing for Ukrainian refugees fleeing their country following the recent Russian invasion. Could these new-found roles go in its favour in the legal sense? Maybe.

As Suzana Varosanec/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, precisely how the state will react to the new restructuring plan as a way out of the difficulties of the company owned by Motel Plitvice will soon be shown through the debtor's pre-bankruptcy proceedings.

That said, after the decision to mobilise Motel Plitvice and employees of the company in the function of accepting refugees from Ukraine (as a checkpoint), it's possible that it could become a new precedent in typical Croatian pre-bankruptcy practice.

This remains an open option due to the legal deadlines that threaten to form a break in the continuation of the procedure and in the context of the currently extraordinary circumstances due to Russia's aggression in Ukraine. These dire circumstances called for the mobilisation of Motel Plitvice in a period when the financial and operational restructuring plan was being made. None of the above could have been predicted, and it turns out that these unfolding circumstances are already affecting the normal procedure and the plan, as well as the debtor's financial status.

New ''dice'' are now being rolled in the pre-bankruptcy mosaic and they have erupted at a stage when the EU and Croatia are preparing a comprehensive response to the upcoming exodus of refugees from Ukraine. According to Crisis Commissioner Janez Lenarcic, the number of Ukrainian refugees, if we're to go by UN estimates, could exceed 10 million individuals.

The Republic of Croatia, in resolving the great humanitarian crisis, should accept 35-70,000 of these people and, by activating a temporary mechanism, ensure their proper and organised reception for a longer period, which includes integration into social and educational systems, as well as the labour market. One of the first checkpoints which was immediately activated as a transit solution is Motel Plitvice with about 40 employees, all of whom have now been made available to the state.

Croatian Motorways (HAC) has confirmed that they received information on the Order for the mobilisation of Motel Plitvice to organise the accommodation of refugees from Ukraine, which, among other things, stipulates that the implementation money is being provided from the state budget for 2022.

They pointed out that therefore, any legal activities regarding Motel Plitvice will not be performed as long as this mobilisation remains in force. However, they added that after this situation is dealt with, the activities on the reconstruction of the rest area will be continued.

Through HAC's evaluation of these new circumstances, the debtor can obviously hope for a break to resolve the pre-bankruptcy issues in which the creditors seem to be able to settle successfully based on extra income. In this procedure, out of 39 million kuna in the claims of unsecured creditors (there are no secured ones), about 33 million fall on the claim of HAC and close to 4 million on Plitvice National Park.

Time is running out despite these unprecedented circumstances because the deadline approved for the extension of the procedure expires on April the 11th, but according to the director of Motel Plitvice, Hrvoje Bilic, a solution will obviously be found in extraordinary circumstances when it comes to extending it further.

"According to the agreement, a legal solution is now being sought for a model that would ensure the continuation of business for some time," explained Bilic, adding that the workers were relieved because of it. The head of the Trade Union of Tourism and Services of Croatia, Eduard Andric, noted that the aim is to keep hold of staff regardless of the outcome of the pre-bankruptcy proceedings.

The next step is to expect a new intervention in the restructuring plan, and it was confirmed that a very generous offer will remain on the table to settle creditors in the amount of 60 percent (with a proposal to write off 40 percent) in 48 installments, with a one year grace period.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 13 February 2022

HAC Looking for Three Security Guards to Monitor Krk Bridge

February 13, 2022 - HAC (Croatian Highways) is looking for a team of three people to work as security guards and monitor Krk bridge for one year, and plans to pay a total of 850,000 kuna and provide all the necessary amenities.

The job lasts 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, of course, not for the same person, but for several of them, whose mission it is to keep safe the connection between the mainland and Croatia's largest island. Croatian Motorways (HAC) are looking for security guards who will monitor Krk bridge and make sure everything is in order for 12 months, from the houses where tolls were paid until last June to the "other side", and the "gage" to be paid 850 thousand kuna will start in April, reports Večernji List.

As many as 26,280 hours are expected to be done by a team of three people, who will record their arrivals and departures electronically, in order for the employer to ensure that these hours are actually worked, and the company from which the security guards will arrive must provide and real-time digital surveillance of security guards' detours. Why? So that "potential incidents" could be reported at the same time, and a picture of them could arrive. Everything that is done must be submitted to HAC in a report by the 5th of each month, and the Motorways will provide the "guardians" of the bridge less than a kilometer and a half long with an equipped working room with heating, electricity, telephone, toilet, and dressing space”.

''The Krk Bridge is a protected object of national importance, which needs to be safeguarded in order to prevent illegal actions directed towards it'', HAC explains. They also mentioned that "no devices and equipment for technical protection have been installed on the Krk Bridge", so it is "necessary to ensure physical protection, which includes the presence of persons performing protection and guarding activities". Or, in other words, the bridge does not have cameras, so surveillance must be done with the eyes.

''Since HAC does not have its own capacity to perform physical surveillance and protection, it is necessary to provide it from the outside, in compliance with regulations (Law on Private Protection and Ordinance on the conditions and manner of implementation of physical protection)'', they added.

For more, check out our business section.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Destiny of Much Loved Motel Plitvice Lies in Croatian Motorways' Hands

September the 19th, 2021 - Motel Plitvice has been a favourite among locals and tourists using Croatia's motorways for very many years now, but now its fate lies in Croatian Motorways' (HAC) hands.

As Novac/Vedran Marjanovic writes, the fate of Motel Plitvice, a favourite place to stop for many road users along the Zagreb - Bregana highway, is in the hands of Croatian Motorways after the Zagreb Commercial Court recently determined the debt of the motel, which requested pre-bankruptcy back in the spring.

Out of the total court-determined debt of Motel Plitvice of 39.6 million kuna, HAC's claim accounts for 33.4 million kuna of it, meaning that the motel cannot proceed from pre-bankruptcy without the consent of HAC, if the creditors vote that way.

The management of Motel Plitvice initially requested the opening of pre-bankruptcy procedings due to the consequences of the coronavirus crisis on business and its goal is to arrange the repayment of the incurred debt of 17 million kuna so that the motel can operate.

In the proposal of the pre-bankruptcy plan, the management of Motel Plitvice also stated a debt to HAC of 11.9 million kuna, but the court determined that it was in actual fact three times higher than that. This is part of a long-standing dispute between Motel Plitvice and HAC over the use of land on which the motel, with some other facilities, operates on both sides of the busy motorway.

The two parties never entered into a land use agreement, although, as established in a court case initiated by HAC back in 2001, they were supposed to do so.

As there was no contract to fall back on, Motel Plitvice disputed HAC's request that it remain indebted for the use of the land only from 2001 to 2009, in the amount of 12 million kuna. Over time, the motel's debt to HAC, according to the calculation of state highways, increased to a massive 78.1 million kuna. Ultimately, HAC won the dispute in the Commercial and High Commercial Courts, and Motel Plitvice failed even with an appeal in the Supreme Court.

HAC recently revealed that converting the receivables they have from Motel Plitvice into ownership of the motel is not an option they have on the table because, as they point out, the Roads Act doesn't allow them to proceed with such a model.

''The position of HAC on the pre-bankruptcy of Motel Plitvice depends on the final settlement proposal and the measures that will eventually be proposed by the revised restructuring plan,'' they stated quite simply from HAC.

For more, follow our business section.

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