The death toll on Czech roads rose to 115 during the first three months of the year according to preliminary figures from police, that is three more than during the same period in 2013. Although there was a drop in accidents in January and February with the total number of fatalities the lowest for 43 years, the number of fatal accidents shot up in March. They numbered 50, seven more than the total in March 2013. Police said most of the accidents had their specific reasons but speeding was a common factor in many of them.
A three-day strike by Lufthansa pilots starting Wednesday has led to the cancellation of 3,800 flights including all flights between Prague and Frankfurt on Wednesday and Thursday, a spokeswoman for Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport confirmed on Tuesday. This represents six flights a day. Friday’s flights remain uncertain. In view of possible changes the airline has advised passengers to check out the status of their flight before setting off. The strike was called over Lufthansa’s plan to scrap an early retirement deal and could be one of the biggest strikes ever to hit the German airline.
Forty-nine people died on Czech roads in the month of March – three fewer than the same period last year, according to police statistics. The weekend of the 20th to the 23rd was the most tragic, over which five people lost their lives in traffic accidents. In January the number was 42 and in February 22 – the lowest number of fatalities over the course of any month since 1990.
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.
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