Quite a mixed bag of stories on today's front pages. MLADA FRONTA DNES leads with a planned campaign against aggressive drivers. The Transport Ministry is drafting an amendment to the traffic law which - it's hoped - will reduce the horrendous road death statistics in this country. If the bill becomes law, each driver who is caught breeching traffic rules will get a certain number of points depending on the gravity of the offence.
This week is European Mobility Week, and several towns and cities in the Czech Republic have agreed to take the initiative to look into the different aspects of urban mobility, through discussion programmes, lectures, and special events. Last year 320 cities from 21 European countries participated in the campaign and the Czech Environment Ministry, together with the Foreign Ministry, supported it for the first time. Eva Veverkova is the campaign's chief co-ordinator in the Czech Republic:
There has been another accident involving a Czech bus, this time in Italy. The bus carrying 22 students and their two professors was involved in a multiple collision on the motorway linking Brescia and Milan on Monday morning. A Czech lorry was also involved. None of the bus passengers was seriously hurt. On Saturday a bus driver was killed and 12 passengers seriously injured after their vehicle hit a railway viaduct in East Bohemia. On the same day a bus driver drowned when his empty bus veered off the road and plunged into the River Elbe. At least twenty people died in road accidents over the weekend, one of the blackest on Czech roads in recent months.
A bus driver has been killed and 12 people seriously injured in a crash near the town of Svitavy. The accident happened at around 11.30 on Saturday night after a bus carrying 45 passengers collided with a railway viaduct. The driver was killed instantly, 24 passengers were taken to hospital, 12 of them with serious injuries. The remaining passengers - believed to be pensioners returning from a day trip - escaped with minor cuts and bruises. Police have launched an investigation to establish the cause of the crash. There have been a number of serious road accidents involving buses in recent years, the worst of which left seventeen passengers dead.
Today's papers make rather depressing reading - with little else happening, the grim road death statistics get front page coverage in Mlada Fronta Dnes. Lidove Noviny meanwhile leads with news that the investigation into the "robbery of the century" has collapsed through lack of forensic evidence, while Pravo claims that the Russian mafia is slowly but surely infiltrating the Czech authorities.
All of Wednesday's Czech dailies lead with different stories, with Mlada Fronta Dnes, for instance, reporting that rents are falling in Prague and remaining static in other parts of the country. The news is especially good for those renting larger, more up-market flats, says the daily. The reason for the decline in rents in the capital is that so many new flats - around 2,000 - are being built every year. Added to that, it's now easier to get a mortgage at rates which compare favourably with monthly rent.