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Pedestrians begin to wear reflective elements

A fine of up to two thousand crowns "on the spot" is to be imposed on the breach of duty. But it must be reduced visibility and walking on the road without public lighting.

Pedestrians should use at least one reflective element on clothing if they go in low visibility on the road without public lighting. The government today approved a proposal by the Ministry of Transport, which is part of the amendment to the Act on Road Traffic.

A fine of up to two thousand crowns "on the spot", that is to say in the so-called block proceedings, is to be imposed for the breach of duty. The Office could then impose a fine of 1,500 to 2,500 crowns in administrative proceedings. The same sanctions threaten pedestrians already for violating other duties, typically a poor passage. Exceptions are to be unpredictable circumstances, such as an unobtainable walkway and temporarily non-functioning public lighting.

According to the design, the pedestrian is obliged to wear reflective material positioned so as to be visible to other road users. However, only if it is moving under reduced visibility on the roadside or on the edge of the road in a place where there is no public lighting or where public lighting is not lit. To create an obligation, all three conditions (reduced visibility, road, without lighting) are required at the same time.

Tip for a marketing event

Decreased visibility is, in addition to the night, especially fog, heavy rain, twilight or dawn. The law does not specify the exact dimensions or location of the reflective element on pedestrian clothing. However, it must be visible from the front and from the rear, that is, sufficiently large and uncovered. Optimal, according to the Ministry, is the use of a reflective tape, either on the pedestrian's hand or foot (ideally at both places) pointing to the roadway.

The Office assumes that the acquisition of reflective elements will come to about 50 crowns, some of them having and are already using. We can also expect marketing events where retailers, or perhaps gas stations, offer reflexive features at discount or free of charge. The ministry estimates a five-percent increase in municipal police spending (due to the extension of controls). The main benefit for the state is to reduce the number of accidents, and also reduce the associated costs.

Visibility rises several times

The number of pedestrians killed in the Czech Republic declines (in 2013 there were 134 on the roads), among the countries of the European Union, but the Czech Republic is still one of the worst places. The Ministry recalls that many other countries, including Slovakia, have introduced the obligation to wear reflective elements. Reflective material can be seen at night three times as far as light clothing and more than ten times as far as dark clothing.

The Ministry of Transport originally considered a tougher alternative - the use of reflective vests, not just elements. But he dismissed this as well as a more mild solution consisting only of another awareness campaign.

If the amendment is approved by the government and subsequently by the Parliament, it is due to start in January 2016.

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