As of the New Year, the Czech Republic sees the introduction of enhanced traffic signs encouraging safe distance between cars and additional road markings in the form of arrows on the road. Failure to maintain a safe distance is a common cause of accidents. However, even after the amendment of the road law, the police cannot impose fines for this offense.
“First, we will stop drivers and warn them of potential consequences. If legislative changes occur, we will also impose fines,” recently responded Pavel Fiala from the Directorate of Traffic Police to question how the police will handle failure to maintain a distance marked by two arrows on the road.
The Ministry of Transport does not plan any changes. When amending the law, they followed the prevention path for a safe distance. The measures will be evaluated over time and assessed whether repression is necessary.
According to statistics, failure to maintain distance is the fifth to sixth most common cause of traffic accidents in the Czech Republic. Drivers often encounter cars dangerously sticking to their rear bumper. Sometimes it is due to negligence, at other times drivers at the back enforce faster driving or lane clearance. But when the driver suddenly brakes, there is a risk that the one behind will not react in time, and both will suffer.
The police can measure a safe distance with the help of drones and cameras by calculating the distance and speed measured. The two arrows on the road, which roughly correspond to the recommended two seconds of distance, are only an aid for drivers even after the rule change.
The definition of a safe distance, which would give the police the opportunity to impose fines and penalty points, is still missing in the regulations, unlike in Slovakia, Germany, or Austria. In Germany, the distance is set in seconds. Anything under one second of distance is punishable. The more significant the difference, the stricter the penalty.