Parliament drawing up serious road accident bill after recent high profile crashes

A serious traffic accident took place in Tallinn city center on May 16, leaving 13 people in the hospital, four in critical condition. (Priit Luts/ERR)
6/3/2015 11:36 AM
Category: Society

A Parliament committee on traffic continued debate on recurring and severe traffic accident prevention after a number of serious accidents took place in Estonia the past few weeks.

A bill, which could head to Parliament for debate before the end of the year, would make it compulsory for drivers who have had their license revoked to be subject to addiction checks, and if problems are found, then treatment.

Economy Minister Kristen Michal, the head of the committee, said this could affect 6,000 people annually.

The aim is to change the attitude and behavior of traffic violators to prevent them repeating the same mistakes. “This is not a magic cure, but various European states have found that the number of repeat traffic violations is 2-3 fold lower in nations where re-education for violators is done, compared to nations where there is no such program,” Michal said.

Villu Vane, an expert at the Road Administration, said that usual punishment methods do not affect repeat violators and instead further education, and for some, psychological treatment, is needed.

On May 29, a traffic accident on the Tallinn-Narva road caused the death of a one-month-old baby. Police arrested a 39-year-old man who allegedly crashed into the car where the baby was seated. He has a history of serious traffic violations and was driving under the influence of alcohol.

On May 16, an accident took place on one of Tallinn's busiest road when a vehicle drove past a red light at a speed of 98 kilometers per hour, crashing into a second vehicle which was flung into a tram stop, injuring 13, four seriously.

J.M. Laats

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