Who, violating, even unintentionally, the rules of safety in land, water or air traffic, unintentionally causes an accident in which another person was injured shall be punishable by imprisonment for up to 3 years. If the consequence of the accident is the death of another person or serious damage to his health, the perpetrator shall be subject to the penalty of deprivation of liberty for a term of between 6 months and 8 years. If the victim is only the closest person, the prosecution of the offense specified in § 1 is at his request.
- § 1. Who, violating, even unintentionally, the safety rules in land, water or air traffic, unintentionally causes an accident in which another person was injured as defined in art. 157 § 1, shall be subject to the penalty of deprivation of liberty for up to 3 years.
- § 2. If the consequence of an accident is the death of another person or serious damage to his health, the perpetrator shall be subject to the penalty of the deprivation of liberty for a term of between 6 months and 8 years.
- § 3. If the victim is only the closest person, the prosecution of the offense specified in § 1 is at his request.
As a rule, issues of liability for collisions and accidents caused by drivers are regulated by the provisions of the Road Traffic Act (in the case of much rarer, and therefore not subject to the analysis conducted here, maritime or aviation accidents, respectively maritime law or aviation law) and also, in the scope of liability for damaged property, by the provisions of civil law. However, in a situation where a violation of safety rules by one of the traffic participants results in personal injury, the legislator considered it necessary to introduce additional criminal liability.
The interpretation of "principles of land safety" is important for a proper understanding of the above regulation. It is obvious that these principles include the provisions of the Act on Road Traffic Act. However, both doctrine and jurisprudence tend to be interpreted more broadly, including the unwritten principles that traffic users learn through practice and experience.
In addition, several issues, as set out in § 1 of Art. 177 of the Penal Code. First of all, it should be noted that this type is one of the crimes that can be committed unintentionally. So, according to criminal legal science, it is not only the person who wanted to cause a given effect, or with the possibility of its occurrence, was responsible, but also the driver who, overestimating his skills, assumed that despite violating traffic rules he would succeed to avoid an accident, as well as the one to whom the possibility of an accident did not even cross their minds.
Another important issue is the reference to art. 157 § 1. This regulation describes the type of crime involving the so-called moderate damage which cannot be classified as serious damage (referred to in Article 156, such as depriving a person of sight, hearing or causing permanent disability), but which, however, causes a violation of bodily functions or a health disorder lasting no longer than 7 days (this situation is governed by Article 157 § 2).
In § 2, the qualified type of the offense is regulated, consisting of a significant increase in punishment in a situation in which the accident caused serious bodily injury (referred to in Article 156) or death. § 3 introduces the prosecution procedure at the request of the offenses of which the only victim was a person nearest perpetrator.
Exceptional significance for drivers who are the perpetrators of the accident referred to in art. 177 have regulations of art. 42 § 1a, 2 and 3, art. 178 and 178b as well as 180a.
Art. 42. § 1a. The court rules a ban on driving all motor vehicles in the event of a conviction for the offense of fleeing a pursuit conducted by a person authorized to control road traffic or driving a motor vehicle without authorization, and a violation of the court order regarding the ban on driving vehicles.
§ 2. The court shall prohibit any vehicles or vehicles of a certain type if the perpetrator was intoxicated at the time of the offense mentioned in § 1, under the influence of a narcotic drug or escaped from the place of the event specified in art. 173, 174 or 177. § 3. The court shall order a ban on driving all motor vehicles forever if the perpetrator at the time of the offense specified in Art. 173, which results in the death of another person or serious damage to his health, or during the commission of the offense specified in art. 177 § 2 or in art. 355 § 2 was in a state of intoxication or under the influence of intoxicants or escaped from the place of the event, unless there is an exceptional case, justified by special circumstances.
Art. 178. § 1. By convicting an offender who has committed the offense specified in art. 173, 174 or 177 while intoxicated or under the influence drug or escaped from the place of the incident, the court imposes a penalty of deprivation of liberty for the offense assigned to the perpetrator in the amount from the lower limit of the statutory threat increased by half to the upper limit of this threat increased by half.
Art. 178b Who, despite the release by a person authorized to control road traffic, moving a vehicle or being on a ship or an aircraft, using sound and light signals, orders to stop a motor vehicle does not immediately stop the vehicle and continues to drive, shall be punishable by imprisonment. from 3 months to 5 years
Art. 180a Who on a public road, in a residential area or in a traffic area, drives a motor vehicle without complying with the decision of the competent authority to withdraw the right to drive vehicles, shall be subject to a fine, the penalty of restriction of liberty or the penalty of deprivation of liberty for up to 2 years.
The purpose of the specific regulations cited is to further punish drivers who cause alcohol-hazardous accidents.
[Legal status as at March 2020]