Police are searching for a suspect who piled rocks in several areas along a train route in the area of Šumperk. In at least one case, the train driver noticed in time was able to stop and remove the 65 stones over a three metre distance; in others the trains passed through without incident. The suspect is wanted for endangering the public the police have asked the public for help.
The Prague State Attorney’s Office has filed charges against lobbyist Roman Janoušek for his role in a hit-and-run last year in the Czech capital. In the incident, the suspect is alleged to have struck a fellow driver who had gotten out of her vehicle after he hit her car from behind. Under the influence of alcohol (later shown in a breathalyser test) he then sped from the scene. Mr Janoušek has been charged with attempted murder and endangering the public due to intoxication; if found guilty in the case Mr Janoušek could face up to 18 years in jail.
The southern part of the Prague city ring road, Jižní spojka, will reopen on Sunday at 3 p.m., after demolition crews removed a bridge that passed above the expressway on Saturday. The road was closed starting on Friday evening, though Prague police said it didn’t result in any major traffic problems. A new bridge will be constructed in the same location in the next few months. Only partial road closings are expected on Jižní spojka for the duration of the construction works.
A yet unidentified man was hit by a tram on Saturday night in Prague’s Vršovice district. The heavily inebriated man was brought to the hospital in an ambulance with a serious head wound, but he succumbed to his injuries later during the night. Since the man had no identification on him, the police is asking the public for any information as they investigate the accident.
The pro-cycling civic association Auto*Mat has launched a competition aimed at encouraging more people in the Czech Republic to ride to work. Around 3,500 people in 11 cities and towns around the country have signed up for the contest “To Work By Bike”, which runs throughout May and is being held for the third time. Entrants sign up online and collect points for cycling to their job with colleagues in teams ranging from two to five members.
Bikers all over the Czech Republic can now join a campaign called Bike to Work, which was started last year by a Prague-based advocacy group Auto*mat to encourage urban cycling. Teams made up of two to five people can join in the race and record the number of kilometers they bike on the way to and from work for the whole month of May. Those with the highest number of kilometers receive prizes, and all the participants get to join a growing community of urban bikers.
In Business News this week: European Commission says Czech Republic needs no further austerity this year; Czech central bank cuts growth forecast for this and next year; Finance Ministry launches monitor of public finances; Škoda considers plans to produce utility vans; six Czechs are ranked among dollar billionaires; and groundbreaking travel firm Student Agency eyes Prague’s taxi market.
Two Czech bus drivers from the Student Agency company have been arrested in Norway. According to the internet news site iDnes the drivers were arrested a week ago after customs officers found hard drugs on board the student agency bus bound back to Prague. The passengers were reportedly flown back and the bus remains in Norway. A spokesperson for Student Agency has confirmed the arrest of two of its drivers and said it has asked the Norwegian authorities to release the company bus.
Forty people died on Czech roads in April, the lowest number since 1990. Two people, including a 16-year-old girl, died when a bus carrying French secondary-school students crashed in western Bohemia on April 8; two men were killed when their car got off the road near Karviná, in the north-east of the country three days later. The highest number of traffic-related deaths in the month of April was recorded in 1997 when 115 died.
Prague City Hall has failed to reach agreement on closing part of the Vltava embankment in the centre of the city to cars, postponing the plans for the summer. Earlier this month, City Council approved a plan to only allow pedestrians and cyclists on Smetanovo nábřeží, a section of the embankment between the National Theatre and Charles Bridge, a move welcomed by cycling advocacy groups. However, council members on Tuesday failed to agree on technical details. Deputy mayor Tomáš Hudeček however said the council would try to impose the ban on cars in the area in August or September.
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