Why the responsibility of the road manegment for the traffic accidents is not regulated and where does go money from the collected fines

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) has sent to the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs proposal for changes and amendments to the Law on Traffic Safety on the Roads in order to regulate the responsibility of the road companies for accidents, as well as that the percent of collected fines is directed for the construction and remediation of existing roads.

Since the adoption of Law on Traffic Safety on the Roads, none asked the question: why the responsibility of the road management is not regulated for the cases of the traffic accidents? Certain parts, particularly those in the north of Montenegro are in bad condition, and the situation gets worse in the period of winter. Law on Traffic, which has more than 330 articles, with no one article defined liability of road management, although a large number of road accidents occures because of the roads that are bad maintained or not maintained at all.

Last year, the European Parliament adopted the EU directive on traffic-technical engineering and construction measures related to increase of the security provided by the travel infrastructure. These norms were supposed to be included in the new traffic law, especially because of the fact that in recent years the number of motor vehicles in Montenegro has increased, and that our country has an intensive transit. Additionally, Montenegro is on the way to become the member of the EU, which means that its legislation in all areas should be aligned with EU legislation.

If a hole on the road appears, road workers have the task to mark it in the shortest time with the traffic sign, and then to remove the hole. If it comes to an accident before the sign is posted, road builders would have to compensate the damage, and in the most difficult cases would be identified as responsibility of the individuals within the company.

According to the current regulations, when a driver encounters an open manhole and suddenly turns and collides with another vehicle, s/he will be accused, not road builder. That need to be changed because so far neither police submited applications against road companies nor these considered mandatory to take some action. In 2012, In Montenegro, 8 610 traffic accidents happened, in which 1732 persons* 1 was injured**. A significant number of traffic accidents can be prevented by better maintenance of roads and different redistribution of money from traffic fines so that more resources are invested in the security, instead of directed that into other issues.

Considering the high penalties which stipulates the Law on Traffic, eg: fines of up to € 150 for the driver which before plugging the vehicle in traffic does not stop the vehicle and remove the mud from the wheels, the question is: Why it is not regulated by the Law that the percentage of collected fines is directly invested into the construction and remediation of existing roads?

Danilo Ajkovic, programme associate
* Data of Statistical Office of Montenegro- Monstat by months www.monstat.org
** Injured persons include died and hurt persons