If the interior minister was not attending a a public event on Thursday, we probably would never have known that one victims in the traffic accident near Drachevo was quite familiar to the police. Although he was less than 21 years old, the boy from Batinci had been stopped by the police up to 16 times since the beginning of this year. And it was always the same thing: speeding. The new and broadened road from Kisela Voda to Drachevo and Batinci was like a runway. It still is, although in just one month, seven people have lost their lives at almost the same spot.
Such information requires that it be verified because it seems quite unreal. How is it possible for someone to be punished up to 16 times for speeding in just five and a half months, and still be able to peacefully sit behind the wheel? Are there police and judiciary, or any other competent institutions in this country?
How do speeding penalties work in our country? They take away your driver’s license, they call you to the station, you wait for an invitation from the Court, you pay your fine, and all the while you are still free to drive?
Where is the punishment system when obviously in such cases prevention does not work? Is it possible that we are unable to deal with drivers who with their uncontrolled behavior are a danger to themselves, but even more importantly, to other participants in traffic?
A few years ago, the state tried to impose order in traffic with rigorous penalties, which amounted to several hundred euros for various violations. The same penalties apply today, although there were requests to halve the amounts. Yesterday, the Ministry of the Interior reported that in Skopje in just one day, 400 penalties for traffic offenses were filed, out of which 125 were for speeding. There will probably be no benefit from them, it is a question of whether the punished will pay their fines, whether they will ever show up to court at all and whether, ultimately, they will realize that they have made a mistake and repent, by doing their best not to repeat the same mistake?
Last year, our northern neighbors decided on drastic changes, or fines in the Law on Traffic. Among other things, driving over limited speed in populated aread of more than 90 kilometers per hour, or out of a populated area of 100 km per hour is considered to be a so-called violent driving. For these offenses, a prison sentence of 30 to 60 days, 15 punitive points and nine months of driving suspension are foreseen. Speeding is like an example, those who drove under the influence of alcohol would face greater penalties.
When processes are not happening naturally, we may need to think of drastic fines. Actually, knowing our mentality, we would probably find “loopholes” to avoid paying them.
This will continue happening until we realize that we or one of our loved ones could be in the place of the victims in Dracevo. Accidents don’t just happen to strangers.