Amendments approved allowing drivers take timeouts for minor offenses

PPA officers operating a radar speed gun.
PPA officers operating a radar speed gun. Source: PPA

On Thursday, the government endorsed an initiative of the Riigikogu legal affairs committee to amend the Code of Misdemeanor Procedure and the Traffic Act in order to include a timeout imposed on a traffic offender as a sanction in the law.

The bill initiated by the parliamentary legal affairs committee would change the expedited procedure applied in misdemeanor proceedings so that a driver who has exceeded the speed limit can choose to pay a penalty or fulfill another sanction provided by law, such as a 45-minute timeout.

The amendments are scheduled to enter into force on December 1.

The application of the timeout is intended only for simpler and less intrusive offenses. The sanction is imposed on the person together with the sanction conditionally, which means that if the person agrees to comply with the terms of the sanction, they do not have to pay the penalty.

The timeout may be used only in the case of an offense provided for in the Traffic Act, which provides for a penalty if the driver of the motor vehicle has exceeded the maximum permitted speed by up to 20 kilometers per hour. Under the current quick procedure, a person is fined for this offense, the amount of which in euros is obtained by multiplying the number of kilometers exceeded by three.

The Ministry of Justice proposes that the government support the bill with comments. The ministry supports the innovative idea and approach that can change traffic behavior. At the same time, it considers it necessary to harmonize the terminology of the bill and to consider the solutions chosen in the bill in order to avoid later disputes.

The Ministry of Justice also considers it necessary to supplement the cost and impact assessment part of the explanatory memorandum of the bill.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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