Lower fines for speeding, higher for speaking on the phone kick in

Ljubljana – A set of changes to traffic rules entered into force today, substantially lowering fines for speeding while more than doubling the fine for talking on the phone while driving. The new law regulates electric scooters for the first time, and brings a novelty of turning right at a red light at crossroads with good visibility.

Talking on the phone while driving is now more expensive, carrying a fine of EUR 250 plus three penalty points, up from the previous EUR 120.

Fines for speeding in a town or outside of it, and on the motorway or highway as well as in areas of slower traffic have meanwhile been cut.

Fines speeding in a town have been halved, for instance from EUR 250 to EUR 120 for exceeding the allowed speed by 10-20 km/h and from EUR 80 to EUR 40 for exceeding it by 5-10 km/h.

Speeding on a motorway has also become less expensive, being for instance cut from EUR 80 to EUR 60 for exceeding the speed limit by 20-30 km/h.

The new rules will allow vehicles to turn right at a red light at crossroads with good visibility and elsewhere where this is possible.

All such crossroads will be properly marked, but the Infrastructure Ministry could not say how many there will be.

Since this is a new traffic rule and drivers are not yet used to it, the ministry expects it to be first introduced on municipal roads in one-lane crossroads with less traffic.

As for electric scooters, they can from now on drive only on lanes or other areas designated for bicycles. The same applies to electric wheelchairs and skateboards.

In the absence of such areas in a town, these light electric motor vehicles can drive on the right-hand margin of a road in towns where the speed limit is below 50 km/h.

Except for persons in a wheelchair, drivers of these vehicles and passengers under the age of 18 have to wear a helmet.

Meanwhile, drivers overtaking cyclists, light motor vehicles or mopeds with speed capacity of up to 25 km/h will need to keep a 1.5 metre sideward distance from them.

The new legislation also stiffens handling of drivers who ignore light or sound signals on priority vehicles and expands some powers of traffic wardens.

State Secretary Aleš Mihelič has said it is based on three main principles of traffic rules – defensive action, trust, and protection of weaker traffic participants.

The latest changes to the road safety law were passed in parliament in a 46:1 vote on 16 July.