Police cracking down on bikes and scooters on Prague sidewalks

Users of shared resources who aren't familiar with the rules of the road can face substantial fines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 22.02.2023 15:00:00 (updated on 22.02.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Police in the Czech capital are cracking down on operators of shared bikes and scooters for violating the rules of the road. The most common offenses are driving on the sidewalk, disregarding traffic signs, driving in the crosswalk, and driving in the wrong direction.

Prague City Hall has been promoting the use of shared bikes or scooters as part of the daily commute in an effort to reduce car traffic in the city. But such shared vehicles are frequently in violation of the rules, officials say.

“In the case of shared resources, users are also required to familiarize themselves with the rules. Unfortunately, the reality is different,” the Metropolitan Police wrote on Facebook.

The law treats scooter riders the same as cyclists, with the same rules, rights, and obligations applying to them. Not only must users of both have to stay off the sidewalk and obey signs, but they also have to maintain complete control over their vehicles even under difficult road conditions.

A report last summer in daily Právo showed that accidents involving e-scooters were on the rise. Tourists who were unfamiliar with the vehicles, as well as local traffic laws, had a particular impact on the numbers, the daily said.

Police found over 16,000 offences in 2022

In January 2023, the police found 648 violations for all cyclists and scooter riders and imposed 268 fines totaling CZK 181,400. Police in their statistics did not distinguish between shared and standard vehicles. Some 21 serious violations were turned over for administrative action, and the remaining cases were settled by an agreement or warning, according to the Metropolitan Police.

Since this was winter when cycle and scooter use is relatively low, the number of violations was under the monthly average. Numbers are expected to increase as people start to ride more when the weather turns nice.

For all of 2022, the Metropolitan Police found 16,039 offenses committed by cyclists or scooter riders, which works out to over 1,300 per month. Police last year imposed 6,969 fines totaling CZK 3.6 million for minor infractions, reported 193 cases for administrative action, and resolved the rest by agreement.

Fines can go up to CZK 50,000

Cyclists can be fined up to CZK 2,000 on the spot for possible traffic violations. For riding a bicycle or scooter under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the driver faces a fine in administrative proceedings ranging from CZK 2,500 to CZK 20,000. This fine can be increased to between CZK 25,000 and CZK 50,000 if the driver has already been suspended from driving due to alcohol or drug use.

Prague ranks as one of the least bike-friendly cities, according to the Global Bicycle Cities Index 2022, where it ranks 73rd out of 90 cities. Despite this, figures from early 2022 showed that the number of cyclists has risen by around 73 percent since 2019, and that every second adult in Prague now rides a bike at least once a month.

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