Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Opposition Calls for Withdrawal of Road Traffic Safety Draft Bill

ZAGREB, 8 June 2022 - A few Opposition parliamentary clubs on Wednesday demanded that the draft bill on road traffic safety should be withdrawn from procedure due to the provision envisaging that family doctors should have a decisive say in whether a driver is able to drive or not.

The proposal that it should be general practitioners with an insight into the health state of their patients and the drugs they take, who should inform the police of those data which should be used for a decision to revoke somebody's driving licence, has been met with criticism from both doctors' and patients' associations.

Davor Dretar of the Homeland Movement party's club told the parliament today that the bill was poor and should be withdrawn for further elaboration.

He warns that a sizeable community of war veterans who use certain medicines could be found in a situation where their doctors propose the revokement of their driving licences to law enforcement authorities.

Andreja Marić of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) club says that the sponsor of the draft bill ignored the opinions of medical professionals and patients' associations.

"The proposed bill will not help improve road safety, and it can do huge damage to public health", she said.

Marić said that this legislation can also undermine the trust between family doctors and their patients.

Dario Zurovec of the Fokus club said the bill would turn GPs into informers, which clashes with the principle of doctor-patient confidentiality, he said.

Marina Opačak Bilić of the Social Democrats' Club warns that this will only deter patients from going to their family doctors for check-ups.

Emil Daus of the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) says that a mere 1% of road accidents are caused by health problems, while the main causes are speeding, driving under the influence, inexperience and disrespect for rules.

Hrvoje Zekanović, an independent MP, however, cites an example of a road accident in which a pedestrian died after being hit by a car driven by a driver who was experiencing an epileptic attack, while that condition had never been reported to the relevant authorities.

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Thursday, 11 November 2021

Government Proposes Stiffer Fines for Speeding

ZAGREB, 11 Nov, 2021 - In its proposal to amend the Road Safety Act, the Croatian government proposes that speeding fines be increased from the present HRK 500 (€66) to HRK 1,000 (€133) in order to deter drivers from repeating such offences. 

In the ten months to the end of October 2021, 38 per cent of fatal accidents in Croatia were caused by speeding, and 99 people were killed due to speeding, which is 38 per cent of the total of 259 persons killed in road accidents so far this year, Interior Minister Davor Božinović warned while presenting the proposal at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The proposal classifies push scooters, roller skates and inline skates as "auxiliary means of transport for pedestrians", while "individual means of transport" include unclassified vehicles such as electric unicycles, Segways, hoverboards, electric scooters and the like. The amended Act will regulate their participation in traffic.

The government also sent three bills aligned with EU law to Parliament for fast-track adoption. The Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, said that their timely adoption was one of the conditions for the absorption of EU funding under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

The proposal to amend the Roads Act aims to ensure the interoperability of the electronic toll collection systems on EU roads and facilitate the cross-border exchange of information from vehicle registers.

The proposal to amend the Scheduled and Occasional Coastal Maritime Transport Act should facilitate the green transition with the ultimate goal of protecting the environment as one of the main pillars of the sustainable growth model.

The proposal to amend the Inland Navigation and Ports Act improves the qualification system for  inland navigation crews for the purposes of labour mobility, as well as shipping development and fleet renewal.

Administrative taxes will be reduced and procedures for issuing electronic documents will be streamlined and accelerated, which will have a positive impact on the operation of small, medium and micro businesses, Butković said.

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