Minister returns to income related penalties idea

Czech Transport Minister Vít Bárta has said that changes allowing more flexible punishments for drivers who commit offences should be prepared by March next year. The minister resurrected the idea that fines should be related to the ability to pay and should have a long term deterrent effect. Fines for aggressive and irresponsible drivers should mean that offenders forgo expensive holidays or a flat for the rest of their lives, he said during an interview on public broadcaster Czech Television on Sunday. The minister’s comments follow heavy publicity for an exemplary five year jail sentence given in the week to a driver who forced a slower car off the motorway and down an embankment. Mr. Bárta also said that bureaucratic delays in processing fines should be dealt with rapidly. Around 30-40 percent of cases had to be dropped in 2009 because they were not processed within 12 months.

The minister urged higher road fines for the rich soon after taking office in the summer. The idea was cold shouldered by government colleagues and lawyers said that it could infringe citizen’s rights.

Author: Chris Johnstone