On 16 July 2021, the National Assembly adopted an amendment to the Road Traffic Rules Act (ZPrCP), which, among other things, is increasing penalties for telephone users while driving and for parking in places for the disabled, while reducing penalties for speeding. The amendment is also introducing the possibility of turning right at a red light and is setting out the conditions for the participation of light motor vehicles in road traffic, which include electric scooters. The amendment enters into force on 11 August 2021.
Due to the increasing use of telephones, the penalty for using a telephone while driving is being increased from 120 euros to 250 euros and 3 penalty points. The fine for violating the ban on stopping or parking in a designated parking space for the disables is also being increased from 80 euros to 200 euros, while penalties for speeding are being significantly reduced.
The amendment determines the meaning of the red light and the traffic sign for turning right at the red light. The new rule stipulates that a driver is allowed to turn right at a red traffic light, to which a traffic sign allowing to turn right at a red light (a green arrow pointing right on a black background) has been added, but only if the direction is free.
The amendment also determines the conditions for the participation of light motor vehicles in road traffic (motor-driven wheelchairs, scooters, skateboards, etc.). Drivers of light motor vehicles must ride on a cycle lane, bike lane or cycle path. Where such traffic areas are absent or non-transportable, the drivers may drive along the right edge of the directional carriageway of the road in a settlement where the maximum permitted speed is limited to 50 km/h. Driving of electric scooter is only allowed to persons over 14 years of age, and the driver (and passenger) is required to wear a properly fitted protective bicycle helmet until 18 years of age.
Drivers, who disregard the importance of special light and sound signs installed on priority vehicles, vehicles for escort and accompanying vehicles, and drivers, who join or overtake such vehicles are treated more strictly. The amendment also stipulates an appropriate lateral distance for overtaking cyclists and drivers of light motor vehicles and mopeds, which must be at least 1.5 meters.
The powers of municipal wardens and toll inspectors are also being expanded, as they will be able to control the area of common traffic, the approach to intersections, and the conditions for the participation of light motor vehicles in road traffic. They will also be able to monitor the use of winter equipment in traffic.