Prague’s multi-purpose Opencard scheme which was to provide users with an efficient means of paying for public transport, parking, and serve as a library card has been dogged by problems from the outset. Now it threatens to turn into a nightmare for over one million users. The card’s days are numbered and Prague City Hall has failed to secure continued licencing until a new system is up and running.
The month of May saw the fewest number of road fatalities since 1990: 44. Last year the number was 51. Two hundred and twenty people involved in traffic accidents over the course of the month suffered serious injuries. The 12th and 21st were the worst days of the month, when five people died in accidents both days. There was a 12 day stretch when there were no traffic-related deaths.
The Czech Republic was hit by severe storms on Tuesday, with heavy rain and hail flooding cellars and roads. In Prague fire officers were called out to deal with flooding at around two dozen spots, including the basement of the National Library, the vestibule of Můstek metro station and a theatre. More heavy storms are forecast for Wednesday.
Czech actress Jana Švandová (66) was taken to a hospital for tests on Saturday to determine whether she had suffered a spinal injury after a traffic accident, the news website iDnes reports. Her vehicle and another crashed head-on, according to the daily. The tabloid Blesk reported that the other motorist had failed to respect weather conditions, skidding on the wet road surface. Police confirmed they were investigating. Jana Švandová is known for roles in dozens of films including The Lovers in Year One and The Garden. In the 1990s, she was the first Czech star to pose for Playboy magazine.
The City of Prague has turned down an offer by eMoneyServices to pay 500 million crowns to continue licensing the multi-purpose Opencard. The mayor said earlier the amount demanded was unacceptable; two studies found the price inflated by one-quarter. City Hall will call a tender to select a new card system; meanwhile, the city will start negotiations on the continuation of the current system for an interim period. The selection of a new card system will evidently spell the end of the controversial Opencard, which cost close to 1.2 billion crowns.
A growing number of traffic accidents on Czech roads is caused by drivers on drugs, police president Tomáš Tuhý said in a debate on Czech Television on Sunday. According to police statistics since 2010 50 people killed on Czech roads were victims of accidents involving drug abuse. The police president said traffic police had intensified check-ups in this respect, but were being hampered by a lack of funds. He said the aim was for every officer on the road to be equipped to detect drug abuse. In 2010 the police registered 527 cases of drivers on drugs, mainly on crystal methamphetamine; they registered the same number in the first quarter of this year. Last weekend an officer was killed by a driver on crystal methamphetamine.
A 21-year-old drunk driver killed a 45-year-old wheelchair-bound in a hit-and-run incident in České Budějovice on Saturday night, a police spokeswoman said. The driver was apparently going too fast and hit the man in the wheelchair who was riding on the side of the road, instantly killing him. He then drove off but had another accident later when he drove into parked cars. The 21-year-old driver has been arrested, and faces up to six years in prison.
A pilot had to be airlifted to hospital on Friday after crashing a
cropduster in a field in the Náchod area. Emergency crews arriving at the
scene found the agricultural aircraft shattered and on its roof, some 50
metres from the nearest road.
Two weeks ago, an ultralight crashed in the area with two people on board. They suffered only minor injuries and were treated on the spot.
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