Amendments to Law on Traffic in B&H: Drivers Behind the Wheel Who are Not Adept Drivers

Amendments to Law on Traffic in B&H: Drivers Behind the Wheel Who are Not Adept Drivers


By Maja Tuljkovic – Sarajevo

According to the planned amendments to the Law on Traffic in B&H, it is anticipated that, among other things, the police may suspend a driver’s license from those drivers for whom doctors assess that these drivers do not possess the capacity to operate a vehicle. Specifically, the draft law on amendments to the Law on road traffic safety stipulates that the health facility, upon which a patient who is not supposed to be driving is discharged, is obliged to notify the Ministry of Interior to check the validity of the driving license. If police records establish that the person has a valid driver’s license, it will be temporarily confiscated, until the health care provider determines that the person is medically fit again to independently operate a vehicle.

Experts for road traffic safety and doctors support changes in the Law because they believe that there are currently people operating a vehicle but who are not mentally fit to do so.

According to MilijaRadović, Director of the Road Traffic Safety RS, these changes in the Law wishes to establish a mechanism, so that if the family doctor determines that the driver is suffering from a disease and therefore should not be behind the wheel, is obliged to inform the police authorities.

‘’In practice, it has happened that a person is behind the wheel even though he/she is suffering from a psychological illness. There were even cases in which the driver has broken his/her leg, is wrapped in a cast and still continues to drive, because no one has informed the police’’, said Radović.

However, a problem arises in private clinics that issue medical certificates, so that drivers, if they do not receive a confirmation in one, they go to another clinic where they receive a confirmation that would allow them to drive. And this is a problem that must be solved because there are many drivers on the streets of B&H today who should not be driving because they are taking medication that impact the psychophysical ability to operate a vehicle.

So these amendments to the Law on traffic should be useful, but also a chance to reduce the number of drivers who are potentially dangerous on the road. Among other things, the bill also proposes that for drivers, who in two years after the issuance of a permit collect four penalty points, should be deprived of their driving license.

And drivers, for which the police determine that there is a high level of alcohol in the blood through a breath test, will be taken to the police station to sober up, for the estimated time of about 12 hours. Also, young drivers who receive a permit for the first time in the B category are expected to be prohibited from driving from midnight to five in the morning. These changes also impact pedestrians, since it would be illegal to speak on the phone and to wear headphones while crossing the street.

Whether these proposed measures will be implemented will be decided in the next period, when the competent entity authorities discuss their opinions on the draft law.