Estonian Police Sending Black
Greetings To Heavy Offenders
13 DEC - Christmas cards will soon start arriving in the mailbox of the heaviest traffic offenders in Estonia, the country's Police and Border Protection Agency informed.
551 black Christmas cards are to be sent to those drivers who have committed four or more traffic offenses through the past year.
Compared to last year, the number of card recipients is 150 fewer. For the second year in a row the number keeps decreasing. The number of people who get the card for a consecutive year is also decreasing - 63 people will receive the card for the second year and 22 people for the third year in a row.
According to police lieutenant colonel Sirle Loigo, chief of Road Police, it is gratifying to see a reduction in the number of card recipients. "The purpose of the black Christmas card is to make traffic hooligans think about the danger of their actions. This year's card recipients have knowingly and intentionally violated traffic rules and thereby repeatedly put their lives and others' lives at risk. As a result of such careless behavior, someone can get seriously injured or even die in traffic," emphasized Loigo.
55 persistent offenders caused 69 different traffic crashes this year, in which 23 people were seriously injured. This year's biggest traffic offender is a man born 1999, who caught the police's attention 19 times with various violations. He has traveled with a technically defective vehicle seven times, without a seat belt four times, exceeded the speed limit three times, handed over control to a person without driving rights on one occasion, drove in the opposite direction, traveled with an unregistered vehicle and committed other minor violations. He has not paid all the fines imposed on him.
“We see that such reckless drivers need a different approach, as the current penalties are not effective for persistent offenders. The error point system, which today is behind political decisions, would help to change this," said Loigo. Card recipients mostly committed speeding, other traffic-related violations or drove a vehicle that did not meet technical requirements. While most card recipients have four or five crimes, nine people had to be stopped by the police more than ten times during the year.
"We hope that the black card found in the mailbox will make a person think about whether he wants to be the one who endangers his life and the lives of others in the new year. The end of the year is a good time to make a promise to start the new year safer and to be more caring towards yourself and others," added the policeman. The majority of card recipients are males born 2000-2004 which is a cause of concern for the ability and the level of responsibility of young drivers. 18 females will also receive a card.