Macedonian citizens are again faced with increased penalties. The government is drafting amendments to the Law on Road Safety which provides reinforcement of penal policy. Inbox 7 surveyed how it is in other countries and what penalties are paid by citizens. We decided to analyze the most common traffic violations in countries in the region and the European Union.
Penal policy in Macedonia is studied by Zoran Popovski, presidential candidate in the last election, in whose campaign this issue was very important.
“In recent years there has been real draconization of the penal policy. Presumably, the purpose is to keep citizens in fear through this brutal penal baton. It is a kind of a guarantee for calm and long-term governance”, says Popovski.
He advocates reducing penalties and suggests to be charged as a percentage of revenue realized by the offender in the previous year.
Macedonia with the highest average speeding penalties
According to the legal provisions in Macedonia for exceeding the speed of 10 kilometers per hour over the allowed limit the fine is 20 Euros. For exceeding the speed to 30km the fine is 45 Euros, exceeding more than 30 kilometers per hour will cost 300 Euros.
Dimitar Ristov from Strumica, who was recently fined for speeding in Prilep, reacts as there was no proper road traffic sign, but he still faced a severe penalty.
“There have never been such penalties. I have to pay 300 Euros for speeding and there was no sign anywhere on speed limit”, says Ristov.
He works in clothing and gets a salary of 200 Euros.
In the following table you can see what the speeding penalties are in some neighboring countries and in some countries of the European Union with average values of the amount of fines.
With the new law amendments that are in parliamentary procedure, it is projected to introduce a 500 Euros fine if a driver exceeds speed limit in populated area of over 50 km per hour.
Macedonia and Croatia with highest penalties for seat belt offences
The experience of our migrant worker Ilija S. from Italy is interesting. He was punished for the same traffic offense on the same day in Croatia and Italy. He was fined 121 Euros for driving without a seat belt.
“On the way from Macedonia to Italy, transport police stopped me in Croatia and fined me 71 Euros for not wearing the seat belt. When I entered Italy, I stopped at a gas station for coffee and refreshment. Later I forgot to put the seat belt on, camera caught me on the highway and in a few days I received a 50 Euros fine”, says Ilija.
He adds that two years ago for the same offense in Macedonia he paid 50 Euros.
High fines for drunk driving in Austria and Macedonia
Drunk driving in different countries is differently sanctioned. According to the amount of the fine to be paid, in Macedonia it is almost the whole average salary.
Penalty for drunk driving is different in all European countries. Here the penalty for drunk driving ranges from 200 to 400 Euros for non-professional drivers, depending on the blood alcohol content.
The new law increases penalties for professional drivers who drive drunk. Novelty in the law is that they can be in police custody until sober.
The highest penalties for drunk driving in Europe are in Austria. There fines can reach up to 6,000 Euros.
Editor: Stojanka Mitreska