More senior officials accused of flouting traffic regulations

Photo: CTK

Just days after the Czech Republic's police chief was caught speeding, other senior officials are also in hot water for breaking the rules of the road. A senior traffic officer in north Moravia is under investigation for causing an accident while drunk, while the minister of the interior, no less, has also been accused of breaking the speed limit.

Vladislav Husak, photo: CTK
The Czech Republic's police chief Vladislav Husak was in disgrace last week, after being caught by reporters breaking the speed limit by around 60 kilometres an hour. His humiliation came just three weeks after the introduction of a new traffic law aimed at curbing the country's high rate of road deaths.

The police chief - who had been among the first to praise the new system - "punished" himself by voluntarily giving up his licence for three months and donating 10,000 crowns (around 400 dollars) to a children's charity.

You might imagine his experience would have served as a warning to others in the police to stick to the rules of the road. But Michal Cas, head of the traffic police in the town of Frydek-Mistek, seems not to have been paying attention. He was involved in a collision in Ostrava on Saturday night, in which two people in the other car were slightly injured.

Frantisek Bublan, photo: CTK
He failed a breathalyser test at the scene and is currently the subject of an Interior Ministry investigation, though the head of the national traffic police Zdenek Bambas has already stated that the incident will mean a quick return to Civvy Street for Mr Cas.

In a strange twist, he says he wasn't actually at the wheel. The officer says somebody close to him was driving and fled the scene "in shock". Under Czech law he does not have to reveal the identity of this person.

Mr Cas had previously praised the positive reaction of Czech drivers to the new traffic law and wrote a university dissertation on ethical driving.

While he was still on the front pages, there was more bad news for the country's law enforcers on Monday evening; a TV news programme showed footage of the minister of the interior, Frantisek Bublan, speeding on Sunday. His government car - which was not using a siren - was filmed on the Prague-Brno motorway by the driver of another vehicle going at around 170 kilometres an hour, 40 kilometres an hour above the speed limit.

Mr Bublan, who last week publicly admonished police chief Husak, said on Tuesday that he had not been paying attention to the speed his car was going. He said that was decided by his driver and denied any personal wrongdoing.