What changes does the law on road transport put into place?

Holding a phone while driving will be prohibited and the fine resulting from a violation will increase as of July 1.

New changes to the law on road transport become valid on July 1, 2019. New changes to the law on road transport become valid on July 1, 2019. (Source: FB Polícia SR)

Electric and hybrid cars will get a green number plate, and fines for holding a phone and other audio-visual devices in hand while driving will go up at the beginning of the summer holiday.

The Interior Ministry presented the changes to the law on road transport back in January and the government adopted them on June 19. They will come into force on July 1, the ministry wrote in a press release.

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What will change?

  • Hand-free calls will be allowed while driving but holding a phone/camera/other audio-visual devices in hand will be explicitly forbidden. Fines will double in this case, increasing from €50 to €100 or from €100 to €200, depending on whether the fine is paid on the spot or not.
  • Tuning a station or typing in a final destination in a driver's GPS while driving will also be banned.
  • Parking on the pavement will be allowed only if the pavement is adjacent to the road.
  • Young people will be allowed to obtain a driver's licence in group C and CE (i.e. vehicles with a weight of no more than 3,500 kilograms and an adjacent vehicle not exceeding 750 kilograms) at the age of 18 and the driver's licence of group D and DE (a vehicle transporting people with more than eight seats with a weight not exceeding 750 kilograms) from the age of 21.
  • Young drivers who have just obtained their driver's licence will be under a two-year testing period. Two serious misdemeanors or over-speeding will mean the drivers will be tested again by the police.
  • People riding an electric scooter or segway will be deemed as a driver of a non-motorised vehicle, not as a pedestrian. They will be allowed to drive on the pavement only at walking speed.
  • Drivers will be obliged to make way for emergency vehicles on a motorway.
  • Cyclists with a blood-alcohol level of 0.5 parts per one thousand will be allowed to ride a bicycle only within a municipality and on a cycling lane.
  • Cyclists over 15 years will not be obliged to wear a helmet outside the municipality.
  • Tractors and other agricultural machines will be allowed to drive on first-class roads without any hour restrictions.

How to punish foreign cars

The police have used the objective responsibility system, which allows them to fine drivers without the need to pull them over, for a few years now. To improve the collection of these fines, the amended law will enable them to withhold a driver's documents and number plates if the previous fine was not paid in due time.

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The Interior Ministry will also introduce a new kind of sanction from July 1. If the police come across a car that has violated the rules but the driver cannot be located, they can fine the driver right on the spot.

The goal of this measure is to punish all the foreign vehicles that violate the rules but cannot be punished via the objective responsibility system.

Electronic registration

Making the electronic application for car registration easier was one of the reasons why the ministry decided to amend the law.

The online registration of vehicles will hence not require a driver's visit to the traffic inspectorate from July 1. All the documents will be sent to the driver by post.

Moreover, drivers will not be required to have their vehicle documents physically compared with the data on the vehicle anymore.

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It will be possible to carry out some of the vehicle registration procedures at any traffic inspectorate in Slovakia. This includes the change of address and the exclusion of a vehicle from the car register.

Moreover, the special number plates will be valid for a longer period of time.

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