Vivi wants to make 'train artists' think twice

Latvia's passenger train operator, joint stock company Pasažieru Vilciens (or Vivi) has sent proposals to the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Justice to amend the regulation by increasing the level of penalties for damaging trains, including graffiti.

In a release, Vivi said that in 2020, ten episodes of damage to trains were recorded (it should be noted that there was a lockdown for most of 2020) while in 2023, 52 such offenses were recorded.  In total, the company has faced more than 150 acts of vandalism against trains in the last four years.

The most common type of damage to trains is graffiti. There have been more than 100 such cases in recent years.

As a result, trains are on downtime until the drawings are cleared.

The interests of passengers are most seriously affected, since the downtime of trains means that public transport services accessible to citizens is undermined. Vivi is the only provider of public transport services by rail throughout Latvia.

Therefore, Vivi considers that vandalizing trains could be reclassified as a crime against the state. The maximum punishment for an act directed against the destruction of the activities of the transport sector with a view to harming the Republic of Latvia on the basis of Section 89 of the Criminal Law shall be deprivation of liberty for a period of five years to 12 years, confiscating property or without confiscation of property.

In addition, Vivi is planning a campaign to explain to the public the impact of vandalism on train traffic and the statutory liability for such an offense.

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