The police chief of Uherské Hradiště, Bronislav Šabršula, is being investigated on suspicion of drink-driving, Czech Television reported on Friday. The police was alerted to the incident by another driver who reported that a vehicle ahead of him was manoeuvring dangerously on the road and its driver could be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Police found the respective vehicle parked on the roadside with the police chief fast asleep behind the steering wheel. He refused a Breathalyzer and blood test and insisted that he had not driven the car but had merely moved to the driver’s seat after having had a row with the driver who had left him in the lurch. The car’s side mirror had been smashed.
Traffic police are expected to be out in force for the Easter weekend when thousands of people leave the big cities for the long Easter break. According to a spokesman for the traffic police officers plan to focus particularly on speeding, drink-driving and soft drugs. Drivers should expect heavy traffic especially on the D1 highway from Prague to Brno which is undergoing reconstruction with traffic along certain stretches restricted to one lane.
Fourteen people were injured in a bus crash on Thursday in the area of Uherské hradiště. Luckily the injuries were only minor, largely from broken glass from windows. In the crash, which took place on a main route to neighboring Slovakia, the bus was hit by a truck after it swerved from a blown front tire. The driver of the truck suffered several broken bones. The I/50, where the accident took place, had to be closed off for several hours.
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.
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