NEWS IN SHORT

Cabinet approves revised road rules

DRIVERS in Slovakia will very likely have to drive with their headlights on at all times in the future.

DRIVERS in Slovakia will very likely have to drive with their headlights on at all times in the future.

On April 23, the cabinet approved a Bill on the Traffic Code, which will introduce a new requirement for cars to have their headlights on throughout the year, ban telephone calls while driving and set out tighter sanctions for driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to the SITA newswire, Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák informed a news conference that despite the decreasing number of car accidents, their consequences have become more serious. Thus, the new measures - to take effect on October 1, providing parliament approves the draft - are aimed at boosting road safety and driver discipline.

The revised Traffic Code also sets a minimum speed on highways: 50km/h to 80km/h. The speed limit in municipalities will drop from 60 to 50km/h. If there is a continuous layer of snow ice or frost on the road, vehicles using such roads must be fitted with winter tyres.

The ministry is also proposing greater sanctions for driving offences. Instead of the current two years, a driving ban could be issued for five years. Drivers may face a fine of Sk10,000-40,000, plus a driving ban of one to five years if they refuse to undergo a breathalyser test.

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