Dangerous driving and speeding away from the police have become increasingly commonplace in recent weeks, said Police major Ullar Sõmera of the Tartu police station.
Speaking about the worrying new trend, he said: "In the last few days alone, we have caught three drivers whose speedometer rose to 200 kilometers per hour or more before seeing a police vehicle. To a great extent, brazen speeding has been linked to the driver's previous offenses - no driving license for some, intoxication for others."
Sõmera said the risk of such a road user is significantly higher than what is caused only by hitting the gas and police operations carried out during the period following the emergency situation have also shown the number of drivers who have consumed alcohol and drugs has increased significantly.
"Figuratively speaking, coronavirus placed us all on pause. The new requirements for quarantine and social distancing likely hindered the opportunities of some to feel free and socialize closely with others. It now seems that the traffic has become the Wild West, where people express their sense of liberation after the emergency situation," he said.
"It was only recently that people were fiercely protecting one another from the virus and the crisis rules were carefully followed. It has now been forgotten that people's lives and health do not only depend on disease, and the basic traffic rules that would allow us all to remain equally healthy and alive have suddenly been forgotten when defying traffic hazards," Sõmera said.
"Midsummer's Day is around the corner. It will be slightly different this year, because there will be no major public bonfires, but this does not necessarily mean that there will be no need to travel from one bonfire night to another. No reckless driving, no drunk driving as well as following other traffic rules agreed in society should be a fundamental truth that is not commanded or obliged, but against which we ourselves do not want to err. Because this way, we stay healthy ourselves and leave others healthy as well," Sõmera said.
Editor: Helen Wright