The Prague metro management has announced that it plans to close the A line of the Prague metro for extensive maintenance work over the Easter holidays. The entire stretch of the A-line will be closed from Friday afternoon till Tuesday morning of April 22nd. Replacement trams and busses will be in operation over the long weekend.
The Constitutional Court has issued a precedent ruling on a case in which an aggressive driver killed a pedestrian and seriously injured another after overtaking a standing vehicle at a zebra crossing and failing to give right of way himself. According to the news site aktualne.cz the court has urged lower instance courts to issue tougher verdicts on road pirates who do not respect pedestrians’ right of way at zebra crossings saying the offense merits between 2 and 8 years in prison in the event of grievous bodily harm or death. This type of offense is common in the Czech Republic and a frequent cause of accidents involving pedestrians.
Prague’s Václav Havel airport will in the summer season offer direct flights to 119 destinations, eight more than last year, the airport said in a press release on Wednesday. Montreal, Toronto, Belgrade and are among the new destinations; meanwhile, direct flights to Abu Dhabi, Stuttgart and Odessa will no longer be available. In the first two months of this year, the number of passengers at Václav Havel Airport increased by over 4 percent; management expects a slight increase in passenger numbers in the rest of the year as well.
Some 59 people have died after being hit by trains in the Czech Republic so far in 2014. The figure is 20 higher than that registered at this time last year. The latest victims were recorded on Monday, one in the Frýdek Místek area in North Moravia and one in Blansko, north of Brno. A spokesperson for the Czech railways inspection body, Martin Drápal, said the increased number of deaths may be because a relatively mild winter has led more people to walk on tracks. Mr. Drápal said in the vast majority of cases those killed had been trespassing illegally on ground closed to the public.
The modernization of the D1 highway is entering a critical phase on Monday when road workers are expected to gradually close off large sections of the highway channeling traffic into two lanes in each direction. The speed limit along those stretches has been reduced to 80 kms per hour and drivers have been warned to expect pile-ups. The left lane in each direction is moreover only 2.5 meters wide and is not intended for larger vehicles. The situation is expected to worsen next weekend when half of the highway will be closed for repair-work, significantly slowing down the flow of traffic between Prague and Brno.
Two people have died in a police car chase in České Budějovice in the early hours of Sunday, local police said. The incident occurred after a police patrol pulled a car over a minor offence on an embankment at about 2:30 AM in the centre of the city; the driver reportedly waited for officers to step out of their vehicle before speeding off. In the ensuing pursuit, the 24-year-old driver crashed into a tree, killing himself as well as a female passenger. Circumstances of the incident are under investigation.
A court in Prague on Saturday ordered the release of three people charged in a money laundering case linked to Prague public transport company. Another two men who face the same charges were released on Friday, including controversial businessman and lobbyist Ivo Rittig. The men were placed in police custody earlier this week as prosecution feared they could flee the country to avoid trial; however, the court decided in favour of those detained. Ivo Ritting and his associates allegedly siphoned money from the public transport company in Prague; if convicted, they would face up to eight years in jail.
March 17,1939 brought a revolution on Czech roads: the commander of the German occupation forces ordered a change-over to a right-hand traffic system with almost immediate effect. Although the change had been in the pipeline for years its immediate enforcement was not easy. Moreover, Prague was given a 9-day reprieve, creating a schizophrenic situation where drivers in the capital still drove on the left, but elsewhere around the country traffic was already moving on the right.
Gale warnings have been issued for almost the entire Czech Republic on Sunday. Winds of up to 90km an hour are expected between 3 AM and 8 PM, with wind speeds of up to 108km an hour likely in mountainous areas, the Czech Hyrdo-Meteorological Institute said on Saturday. Motorists have been warned to exercise caution on the country’s roads.
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