Review by Christos T. Panagopoulos
A new bill in order to reform the transport rules in Slovenia was adopted by the National Assembly on Monday, introducing strict fines for road offenders as well as the possibility for police forces to impound vehicles.
“With this reform aims to cut the death toll on Slovenian roads by 50% in the next years, even arriving at zero percentage in fatal accidents by 2050”, Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Minister, Samo Omerzel, said presenting the bill in the Assembly.
The government was prompted to change road safety rules after a hit-and-run accident in Ljubljana, in which a 35-year-old driving under the influence of alcohol and without a valid licence ran over two 19-year-olds, who later died in hospital.
Drivers under the influence will be put in custody even if they live near the spot where they are pulled over or if they secure alternative transportation to their homes.
During the debate on Friday, Branko Ficko of the coalition Positive Slovenia (PS) endorsed the changes, saying that they pursued the goals from the national programme for road transport safety for the 2013-2022 period.
Opposition Democrats (SDS) deputy Zvonko Lah meanwhile said they would not increase road safety significantly. They are focused on confiscation of vehicles instead of removing drivers from traffic, he said, adding that the SDS would not support the motion.
According to Samo Bevk of the coalition Social Democrats (SD), the biggest violators of traffic rules have to be removed from traffic immediately. He added that the changes will help reduce the number of road victims and increase safety.
Endorsing the changes, Marko Pavlišič of the coalition People’s List (DL) said that the possibility to confiscate a vehicle would not solve all problems, but if it saved at least one life, the purpose would be reached.
The legislation was also welcomed by the opposition People’s Party (SLS), but its president Franc Bogovič said that his party expected the relevant institutions to make a serious strategic plan to improve road safety which would not be based on fines.
Source: Slovenia Times