Drive safely!


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Ahoj and welcome back to ABC of Czech! The topic of this week's programme is Czech roads, traffic accidents, and most importantly, seat belts.

At the beginning of 2004 the Czech Transport Ministry - Ministerstvo dopravy said that it aims to reduce road deaths by fifty percent over the next few years. Presently, approximately 1,300 people are killed in traffic accidents - dopravní nehody annually in the Czech Republic. This means that more than three people are killed each day on Czech roads - silnice. Proportionally, the Czech Republic has one of the highest rates of road death in Europe. The Ministerstvo dopravy lists four major causes of crashes - srá¾ky: excessive speed, not giving way, influence of alcohol, and improper overtaking or passing.

In 2000 the most common cause of srá¾ky was excessive speed - nepøimìøená rychlost. In the Czech Republic the speed limit - maximální povolená rychlost on the highway - dálnice is 130 kilometers per hour. On secondary highways or roads - silnice the limit is 80 kilometers per hour. For built-up areas - obce the limit is 50 kilometers per hour - padesát kilometrù za hodinu or padesát kilákù to use the slang abbreviation. A speeding ticket - pokuta ranges from 500 to 2.000 Czech crowns, depending on the violation.

The influence of alcohol - vliv alkoholu caused 8 percent of highway accidents in 2000. Failing to give another driver the right of way - pøednost v jízdì caused 13 percent of accidents in 2000, the only major cause which increased from 1998 to 2000. As in most countries priority is to the right - pøednost zprava - an important thing to remember, given the lack of road markings on many Czech roads. The last major cause of accidents in 2000 was incorrect passing or overtaking - pøedjí¾dìní.

The Ministerstvo dopravy believes that a large percentage of these fatal accidents - smrtelné nehody and injuries - zranìní could be prevented if people wore their seat belt - bezpeènostní pás. In 2000 the Ministerstvo dopravy reported that 41 percent of drivers - øidièù killed in automobile accidents were not wearing seat belts - bezpeènostní pásy. The percent increases for passengers - spolucestující, 52 percent of passengers killed were not wearing bezpeènostní pásy. The Ministerstvo dopravy has launched a campaign - kampaò to encourage Czechs to belt up - pøipoutat se.

And I'll leave you on that note for today, until next time, wear your selt belt - pøipoutejte se and be careful - buïte opatrní!


See also Living Czech.