Speeding penalties rise in Latvia

On May 2, the Saeima approved in final reading amendments increasing the penalties for serious speeding offenses, i.e. exceeding the speed limit by more than 60 kilometers per hour.

The amendments to the Road Traffic Law stipulate that speeding between 61 and 70 kilometers per hour (km/h) on mopeds, motorcycles, cars, and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 7.5 tonnes or less will result in a fine of between €720 and €960 (currently between €360 and €480) and a ban on driving for nine months (currently six months).

However, speeding above 60-70 km/h in a populated area will result in a fine of between €1,040 and €1,400 (currently between €540 and €680) and a driving ban of between nine and 12 months (currently a driving ban of 12 months). 

If the speed limit outside residential areas is exceeded by 61 to 70 km/h in a car towing a trailer or a lorry with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 7.5 tonnes, the driver may be banned from driving for between 12 and 18 months (currently a 12-month ban). Drivers will be disqualified from driving for 12 to 24 months (currently 24 months) for such speeding offenses in a populated area.   

Where the speed limit is exceeded by more than 70 kilometers per hour, a fine of between €1,400 and €2,000 will be imposed and the driving licence will be suspended for between 12 and 36 months. This will apply to all vehicles, regardless of their gross vehicle weight. 

The penalty for causing a disturbance to the driver of the overtaking vehicle by increasing the speed or changing the trajectory has also been increased. This will result in a fine of €55 (currently €40). The fine for overtaking at intersections is also to be increased from €40 to €55.

The amendments also provide that, from 2025, the owner of a vehicle will be informed immediately if it is detected that a vehicle has been involved in road traffic which has not passed a national roadworthiness test or has not been covered by compulsory third party liability insurance (OCTA) within the prescribed time limits. It is envisaged that a penalty for such an infringement will be imposed no more than once every 24 hours. Currently it is possible to get penalties every time one passes a speed camera. Andrejs Judins (New Unity), Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee, pointed out that such changes would still require additional legislation.

The amendments also stipulate that not only drivers of motor vehicles but also riders of bicycles and electric scooters will be required to carry driving documents. 

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