Legal Expert Urges Action on Traffic Disruptions in Prague Caused by Last Generation Group

Jan Handrejch, Právo

A legal expert, Tomáš Sokol, has stated that authorities should be bolder in addressing the issue of traffic disruptions caused by the Last Generation group in Prague, which is advocating for a speed limit of 30 km/h throughout the city. While some Prague councilors have described the group as terrorists, extremists, and radicals, they acknowledge that finding a solution is difficult. Discussions have taken place to resolve the issue. Still, Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS) has since interrupted them, stating that it is inappropriate to negotiate while pressure tactics are being employed.

Former mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) disapproved of traffic disruptions and emphasized that opinions can be expressed differently. He supports the introduction of 30 km/h zones in residential areas but not on major roads, which are under the municipality’s jurisdiction. Jiří Pospíšil (TOP 09), a Prague councilor, expressed that while the law has not been violated, advocates of the 30 km/h limit are hurting their cause by behaving like extremists and radicals, and they cannot expect the rest of society to adopt their ideas by harassing and bullying others.

According to Ondřej Prokop from the ANO movement, addressing the problem is complex. Lawyers struggle to find solutions as the activists’ actions fall under the right to assembly. He went on to describe the activists as terrorists. However, legal expert Tomáš Sokol suggests solutions exist, and authorities should proactively address the issue. He referred to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the right to assemble peacefully but must not be abused to the detriment of democratic society’s interests.

The Last Generation group’s disruptions have gained significant attention and are accused of taking the city’s residents hostage. They block traffic in critical areas, causing delays and frustration among drivers, commuters, and emergency services. The group’s action is part of a campaign to reduce the speed limit in Prague to 30 km/h to increase road safety. The group argues that lower speed limits will reduce traffic fatalities and create a more livable and sustainable city.

Despite the activists’ noble intentions, their tactics have been widely criticized, and they have faced fierce opposition from city councilors, businesses, and residents. Some critics have questioned the group’s legitimacy and pointed out that they do not represent the majority of Prague residents. The issue highlights the difficulty in balancing individual rights and freedoms with the interests of the broader society. It is crucial to find a solution that protects both the right to protest and the right to safe and unimpeded mobility.