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Unnecessary driving on ice to be banned

2014-02-13

The Ministry of Environment has drawn up a draft amendment to the Government Resolution on Special Conditions for Land and Forest Use. The amendment is aimed at imposing a general ban on driving on the ice of water bodies by motor vehicles and establishing exemptions permitting such driving.

‘The procedure proposed by us will eventually make the situation clear with respect to who may actually drive on ice. The recent events have shown that such clarity has been insufficient indeed,’ believes Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis.

According to the Code of Administrative Offences, unauthorised driving on the ice of water bodies by motor vehicles entails the following liability: a notice or a fine of LTL 50 to LTL 500. The Code states that such offences are examined by environmental bodies. However, officials engaged in environmental state control are not able to ensure appropriate control of unauthorised driving on the ice of water bodies by motor vehicles since laws impose no ban on such activities and it is not clear what authorised driving on the ice of water bodies means.

The draft amendment prepared by the Ministry of Environment proposes banning such driving and laying down specific exemptions to this ban. The draft amendment stipulates that driving on the ice of water bodies should be allowed only in case where:

• Rescue work, response to consequences of natural disasters, state border protection, public order maintenance, environmental and protected area state control, studies of the status of surface water bodies, military training and/or exercise are carried out;

• Sports events are organised and take place with permission from a municipality;

• Commercial fisheries are organised and carried out using motor vehicles necessary for the organisation and implementation of such fisheries;

• Recreational fisheries are organised and carried out on the Curonian Lagoon, using motor vehicles to transport fishermen and equipment to/from a fishing site.

The draft amendment will be presented to the authorities concerned for agreement. Later on it will be submitted for government debate.

Public Information Division
13.02.2014

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas