Parliament briefs: borders and traffic laws toughened up ({{commentsTotal}})

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A draft bill which will make an illegal border crossing that turns violent a criminal offense, instead of a misdemeanor offense, has passed its first reading in Parliament.

Once passed, anyone crossing the border illegally and resisting arrest, acting violently or threatening with violence, can be charged on a criminal offense, meaning a more severe punishment.

Justice Minister Andres Anvelt said there is heightened tension on EU's borders and the number of crimes committed around Estonia's border areas has increased. A number of other measures to toughen up legislation concerning illegal border crossing, has also been inserted into the draft law.

The bill has been motivated by the capture of Estonian security official Eston Kohver, who was abducted from Estonian territory in September. Two Russian citizens, both former KGB officers, are currently under arrest for crossing into Estonian waters illegally and resisting arrest.

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The government approved a bill which will allow proof from speed cameras to be used as the legal basis of writing traffic fines.

Currently only speed cameras outside of settlements can issue fines for traffic violations.

For example, driving on a bus lane will mean a 20-euro fine for the car owner. Three euros will be charged for every kilometer per hour clocked up over the speed limit.

The Tallinn municipal government has been waiting for the bill, which will allow cameras put up in the Kristiine district next to the mall complex, installed in 2012, to be used. The bill will have to be passed by Parliament first.



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