The penalty for hitting a pedestrian with a vehicle, if that pedestrian is on a marked crosswalk, should be a €3,000 fine, one Reform Party MP says.
The MP, Pärtel-Peeter Pere, made his remarks in a podcast run by investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress and came just hours after yet another fatality after a pedestrian was hit by a car, on a crosswalk.
Pere called the situation totally unacceptable, and the same can be applied, he said, to the "goal" contained in the national state transport and mobility development plan of reaching the stage where "only" 30 people day as a result of road traffic accidents annually, by the year 2035.
Pere called this rather lackluster approach "irresponsible," drawing on the examples of two Nordic capitals, Helsinki and Oslo – whose greater metro area populations are comparable with Estonia's, and who were able to reach zero road deaths in the year of 2019.
Pere argued that if the will was really there, the same could be accomplished in Estonia, but this will is almost totally absent, he said – as evidenced by the paltry fines issued to offenders, currently around a tenth of the level Pere is suggesting.
Despite pressures from higher fuel costs, a planned car tax, and moves towards the green transition, private vehicle ownership and use has only been growing, Pere said, noting that "we drive to work two.-and-a-half times more than we did at the start of the millennium," and "we walk and use public transport with less and less frequency."
While fewer pedestrians can explain an overall fall in accidents involving them, Pere noted that the accidents which do happen are increasingly being concentrated on cross walks.
Pere, who has lived and worked in Stockholm, also noted that attracting foreign talent, for instance, or foreign investment, to Tallinn, depends on a range of factors including an appealing, comfortable and safe urban environment – which Pere said Stockholm had, but the Estonian capital by comparison, not so much.
"Why would someone want to come to Tallinn to live and work with their family?" he added.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Eesti Ekspress