Estonian police suspended the driver's license of Tallinn City Council member and Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) group chair Mart Kallas after he hit a cyclist with his car last fall. Kallas has appealed the decision.
Kallas confirmed that the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) want to fine him as well as suspend his license for a period of time.
"The role of the media behind this was completely palpable as well," he said. "That was absolutely a mishandling, in which you took part as such as well."
On the evening of October 28, Kallas, who was driving for ride-hailing platform Bolt at the time, noticed a cyclist in dark clothing and without a reflector near Tallinn Bus Station. According to the politician, he and the cyclist exchanged words, following which he drove his vehicle out of the bus station parking loop and along Lastekodu tänav.
The rest can be seen in the dashcam footage Kallas himself posted on Facebook a few days later. The cyclist crossed in front of the vehicle, Kallas hit the cyclist and the cyclist then kicked the car.
The cyclist thereafter biked onward a few meters, came to a stop and started dismounting. At the same time, Kallas hit the gas, steering his vehicle toward the cyclist. The cyclist lifted up his bike, and just a few moments later, Kallas' vehicle crashed into the cyclist, who flew up onto the hood and windshield of the car together with his bike.
Following the incident, Kallas claimed that the cyclist had attacked him with his bike and jumped onto the hood of the car himself. Police had a different assessment and imposed a punishment on the driver for the violation of the Traffic Code.
Kallas appealed the decision, which will soon be reviewed in court.
"There were several witnesses present when the police report was filed at the scene," Kallas said regarding his side of the dispute. "The [officer conducting the proceeding] absolutely did not question witnesses and that bike-thrower, that bike hooligan was in the role of witness. He was treated as a witness, not as a party [to the incident]."
According to the driver, the cyclist didn't get hurt. "His bike was fine and he didn't have any injuries whatsoever," he claimed, adding that he himself certainly shouldn't be considered the sole culprit in the collision.
"If the cyclist hadn't breached traffic rules, absolutely nothing would have happened," Kallas stressed. "I submitted a dispute in which I cited the sections of the Traffic Act that this particular cyclist specifically violated. And if a society has agreed-upon traffic rules, then all parties must adhere to them, not just drivers."
The EKRE city council member claimed that the cyclist was not punished for his violations.
The PPA said that as the matter is now in court, they cannot comment any further on the matter.
Editor: Aili Vahtla