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Drivers to face stiffer traffic rules, penalties

The government plans to tighten traffic fine laws, introducing more deterrents and increasing the share of instant penalties to make road traffic safer and procedures faster, Népszabadság reported on Wednesday.

Proposals now on the table would make the gap between on-the-spot fines and ones paid later in legal proceedings even bigger.

If a traffic offender is found guilty in court, the fine imposed there would be much higher than if the ticket had been paid immediately, the paper said.

In addition, the plans aim to give more penalty points on offenders' licenses if they choose to defer the fine instead of settling it on the spot.

For example, being caught talking on your cell phone will endorse your license with one point on the spot, but with three points if the violation has to be determined in court.

Under the proposal, police officers would be able to offer an installment payment plan even for on-the-spot fines, whose upper limit is proposed to be raised well over the current HUF 20,000 (€74).

An earlier proposal by ruling Fidesz party lawmakers had suggested a ceiling for fines of HUF 100,000 (€370), but that plan has been dropped.