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on the spot fine

Manchester
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on the spot fine

Iv noticed nobody has asked the question about on the spot fine for crossing the road when red or is it green light showing, not sure which one it is, also by persons impersonating policeman.

Is this true, or maybe im being wound up.

Brno, Czech Republic
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1. Re: on the spot fine

This sort of behaviour is strictly forbidden and you will be punished severely for doing it.

Seriously, though, it is against the law but in over sixteen years here I have never seen anybody be fined for such a crime. Saying that, I don't think I have in fact seen many people breaking the law - they are quite obedient and you will see that people will wait until the green man lights before crossing the road, even when there is nothing for miles around. The same is true in Austria, and I believe in America it is called jaywalking.

If you are worried about being fined, just wait with the others and stick to the rules - it is much simpler than finding out the hard way! I reckon the fine would be about 500 Crowns.

As for persons impersonating police officers - it should be clear who is real and who isn't - again, I have never seen any fake police in Prague, although I am sure there are some. Needless to say, you should never pay any fines on the spot without knowing who you are paying it to - I believe you have a statutory 15-day payment window to do so, but I have never has the misfortune to find out. I have in Vienna though - they hand out fines like confetti.

New Jersey
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2. Re: on the spot fine

I'm always amazed when traveling that most people tend to wait for a green light before crossing the road even in the absence of traffic and even late at night when no one is around. I guess I'm just conditioned to NYC where a green, yellow and red light all mean the same. Go as fast as you can!

I must admit I have a hard time waiting for that light to turn green but almost always out of respect for the locals I adhere to the rules. Now that I know I could get a fine I'll be extra careful.

But I also suspect that visitors to NYC also cross against the light just as every New Yorker does. LOL

Gbow

Prague
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3. Re: on the spot fine

It is rare, but a couple of people I know have been fined for crossing with a red light or not crossing on the crosswalk (the law says that if there is a crosswalk 50m from you or less, you must cross the street there).

Actually, I got away once. I had just left a pub after lunch and withouth noticing the traffic light I crossed a rather narrow street that while the light was red, but no traffic was coming. A police car pulled over right next to me, the agent got out, ran after me and asked for some ID. I didn't know Czech then, and I told him so. In very good English he asked me If I know what I had done, or something like that. Then I looked back and noticed the bloody traffic light. I apologised, told the cop I was distracted at the time and he just let me go with a warning.

I think that the attitude with police here is, if they stop you for an infraction accept your guilt, apologise, don't try to argue. They might let you go with a warning or at least with a reduced fine.

Brno, Czech Republic
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4. Re: on the spot fine

I do remember a time - I think it was in about 1996/7 when they had a harebrained change to the law which meant that cars were obliged to stop at zebra crossings to allow pedestrians to cross the road (it hadn't previously been the case.

All very well, I hear you say, but the fact that the vast majority of zebra crossings were unmarked and unlit, and in many cases were only fifty metres apart from each other, led to complete chaos as of course everybody saw it as their god-given right to walk out into the road without waiting for the cars to stop, and then shout at the cars/get run over by them when they didn't.

I think they amended the law soon afterwards...

Edinburgh, United...
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5. Re: on the spot fine

I always wonderd what the rules were at these little Zebra crossings just beside the tram stops.In Britain we are used to cars stopping at all zebra crossings (well most of the time).I presumed in Prague they just marked a crossing area and you just took your chances.

i must admit I have always used proper crossing areas/ pedestrian lights whilst anywhere away from home as i prefer to come home in one piece.

Prague, Czech...
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6. Re: on the spot fine

I guess i live in another Prague! It may be also, as a professional driver spending a lot of time driving in the historical center, I see people crossing the street absolutely every where, often people just walk in the street. The zebra crossings are used by many people and it is the law that drivers stop to let you cross (and 4 points to the driver if you are stopped!), be aware that trams do not have stop at the crossings! I have heard stories of people being given on the spot fines jaywalking near the river, basically tourists that are being shaken down by the friendly city police!

Brno, Czech Republic
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7. Re: on the spot fine

lupa.cz/zpravicky/…

This is a good idea - for those readers who can't read Czech, it is an idea by an American politician to make listening to IPODs illegal, subject to a $100 dollar fine, whilst crossing the road as so many accidents have been caused by people doing so...

Apparently in Illinois it is already illegal to talk on the telephone whilst crossing the road.

Of course I had to go and look up the relevant law about crossing the road in the Czech statute book, just for my peace of mind - if anyone is interested, it is all covered in law no. 361/2000 Coll. on Road Traffic - paragraph 54 is the one about crossing the road, and it basically says that you must only cross a public highway at a designated point (zebra crossing, underpass, footbridge, etc) and - this I didn't know - you have to walk on the right when doing so. You also have to ensure that there is no oncoming traffic that is likely to have difficulties stopping if you decide to take your life into your own hands (that's the bit that wasn't there before) and you can't stop in the road without good reason whilst crossing (fair enough). And trams have absolute right of way, pedestrian, car, whatever - if you find yourself in a situation where a tram is bearing down on you, it is up to you, not the tram, to get out of the way. You can't climb over barriers to cross the road, either. There's more, but that sort of covers it.

It doesn't actually say anything about fines, but I suppose you could be prosecuted for 'committing an offence that compromises the safety of traffic on surface communications', for which the minimum fine is 2000 Crowns.

Now you know why people only cross where and when they should :)

Horsham, United...
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8. Re: on the spot fine

Brilliant - so for example if I kill or maim somebody whilst they are using zebra crossing, a legitimate excuse would be that they should have forseen that I may have difficulty in stopping? So the pedestrian is always at fault. Good, road is for drivers!

Brno, Czech Republic
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9. Re: on the spot fine

Not necessarily - according to § 22 of law no 200/1990 Coll. section f (6) it is an offence not to allow a pedestrian uninterrupted and safe passage across a public highway or who fails to stop a vehicle before a pedestrian crossing in cases where it is obligatory to do so according to section 3 f) of the same code, or to put in danger a pedestrian who is crossing a public highway by turning onto the said highway or to put in danger a pedestrian by turning into a place that is not part of the public highway, whilst turning onto a public highway or whilst turning around or reversing.

§ 11 onwards of the same law goes on about sanctions, fines, etc.

But otherwise, if a pedestrian crosses the road at a time and a place where they shouldn't, tough luck.

Horsham, United...
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10. Re: on the spot fine

congratulations, you make law sound interesting.