Dabar populiaru
Published: 12 march 2012 14:49

Lithuania goes to EU court over ban of righ-hand drive vehicles

Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Transportas

Lithuania is planning to go to the European Union's (EU) Court of Justice to defend its ban on registration of vehicles with a steering wheel on the right-hand side, saying it was crucial for traffic safety.

The government objects to the European Commission's position, which said that refusal of registration of automobiles with right-hand side drive breached the EU law.

On Monday, the government approved the document drafted by the Justice Ministry's European Law Department in response to the EU claim.

The commission has provided a reasoned opinion that the side of the steering wheel could not be the reason for refusal of registration of an automobile. Lithuania has given an answer to the EC opinion, but the EC decided to take the matter to the Court of Justice.

"One of the traffic safety principles stipulated in the Republic of Lithuania's Law on Road Traffic Safety declares that health and life of traffic participants is more important than economic results of economic activities," reads the document.

It envisages the position of the Transport and Communications Ministry, which said that the permit to drive automobiles that are not adapted to traffic on the right-hand side of the road would have a negative effect to traffic safety due to reasons related to the driver's zone of visibility – threats would emerge while passing other vehicles and burden the turn to the left.

"Scientific research shows that the risk of collision with such automobiles is 32 percent higher. In this light, participation in the case is important for the defense of public interest," the document suggests.

The European Law Department emphasized that the EC misleadingly indicated that Lithuania's ban was due to reasons of the driving mechanism of such automobiles, while the ban is fact aimed at ensuring safe traffic.

Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB „BNS“ sutikimo draudžiama.
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