Has the new road law proved effective?
It was hailed as a revolution on Czech roads: a new points system that would reduce speeding, drink driving but above all the number of deaths on Czech roads, often described as the most dangerous in Europe. It is now exactly one year since the strict new road law was introduced - and we look at whether it has lived up to expectation.
"In the course of the first month it really produced results. It was absolutely marvelous how things changed on the road. But you know how it is - there are ways of getting around everything and drivers soon lost their fear. So I'd say that the law is good but it needs to be enforced by the authorities."
"There is a drop in the number of accidents as compared to the same period last year - but that is the only positive point, the number of people killed is up by fifty-four as compared to the same period last year, the number of injured is up by fifteen and even the number of drink drivers is up by fifty."
In the course of that year over 1200 drivers got their drivers license confiscated and half a million drivers have at least one point for a serious offense. The most frequent offenses are still speeding and drink driving and the most frequent offenders are young men in fast cars aged between 19 and 23.
"The police could do with more technology. There are frequent road safety operations during which traffic police are out in force but far more effective are radars which monitor drivers within a given stretch. They work night and day and not only register traffic violations but document them."
Although the present road statistics are far from encouraging politicians want to give the police more time to get on top of the problem. Given the cost cutting measures that the government is implementing they know that there is only so much the police can do.