Czech police were stationed at 800 different locations on Wednesday as part of the Pan European 24-Hour Speed Enforcement Marathon’s efforts to crack down on negligent driving.
First launched in 2016 by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL) in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the initiative involves law enforcement planting themselves in hundreds of areas across 22 different EU countries to catch speeding or negligent drivers.
At the time of its conception, TISPOL president Aidan Reid said, “The speed marathon is all about prevention. We want drivers to think about the speeds they choose; speeds which are both legal and appropriate for the conditions. By doing so, they will be reducing the risks they face and the risks they pose to other road users.”
Šárka Pižlová, a spokeswoman for the Hradec Králové region, asserted that the goal of the initiative was not a revenue gathering strategy, but a campaign to promote the awareness of dangerous driving.
“The purpose isn’t to impose as many fines as possible, but to point out that non-compliance with the speed limit is a very serious offense and can have fatal consequences.”
Police are patrolling what they deem as the riskier areas both in marked and unmarked cars, moving and stationary. CNN Prima NEWs published a list of all the streets in each town that police are patrolling. The public is also welcome to give the police tips on where to add patrols for the initiative based on where they believe the highest-risk areas are.
According to the European Transport Safety Council ETSC, there were 51 deaths per million inhabitants in the European Union in 2019. The EU has a stated goal of decreasing the amount of road deaths each year, but began to fall behind on this goal in 2014, according to the ETSC’s figures.