Police send black Christmas cards to those with multiple traffic violations ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Front of the 2019 black holiday card.
Front of the 2019 black holiday card. Source: PPA

For the ninth year in a row, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) is sending black Christmas cards to individuals with multiple traffic violations, calling on them to change their behavior. A total of 857 people will be receiving the cards this year, twice as many as last year.

45 people are being sent the black holiday card for the second time, and 8 motorists for the third time in a row already. The card is sent to those motorists who have committed four or more traffic offenses that year.

"With these warning Christmas cards, we are reminding those with multiple traffic violations that their carelessness or deliberate failure to follow the rules puts the lives of all road users at risk," said Hannes Kullamäe, director of traffic control at the PPA's North Prefecture.

This year's biggest offender is the same as last year's. Born in 1958, the man is being sent the black holiday card for the third year in a row this year. In 2019, he has racked up 21 minor traffic violations, the fines for which have exceeded €1,000.

"Despite the fines, this man unfortunately hasn't changed his behavior," Kullamäe said. "While his violations aren't serious, this kind of constant carelessness is nonetheless dangerous."

Young men between the ages of 25-29 with a basic school education and Estonian citizenship account for the biggest number of card recipients this year. 26 women are also among this year's recipients of the card.

This year's card is dedicated to railroad safety.

"There are several signs indicating the upcoming danger as you approach railroad crossings, but crashes occur despite them," the PPA official said. "If a road user's attention is trained on their smartphone and sounds are blocked by headphones, a loud train whistle won't save them either."

Repeat violators behind 83 crashes this year

The most common traffic violation among recipients of the card is speeding, but it is the speed of the vehicle that dictates how serious the consequences of the crash are. 73 repeat violators caused 83 crashes over the past year, as a result of which one person died and another 23 were injured. One repeat offender alone caused six car crashes.

Speeding accounted for nearly 40 percent of violations committed by recipients of the black card.

Of this year's over 850 recipients, 338 live in Harju County, among them 233 in Tallinn. 80 cards are being sent to Tartu County, of them 45 to Tartu, and 70 cards to Ida-Viru County, of them 29 to Narva and 20 to Kohtla-Järve. Another 41 cards are being sent to residents of Pärnu, 16 each to Valga and Põlva, 15 to Paide, 11 to Võru, 10 to Jõgeva and 7 to Viljandi.

One side of the black Christmas card being sent by the police in Estonia this year. Source: PPA

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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