Road Traffic Act 'may breach human rights'
On Thursday next week, the Danish Supreme Court will decide whether the Faroese Road Traffic Act is in breach of human rights.
The Supreme Court heard a case regarding this matter on Monday.
According to the Faroese Road Traffic Act, people involved in a traffic accident are obliged to report it to the police within six hours of the accident.
No self-reporting duty
However, according to barrister Christian Andreassen, imposing an obligation on people to report themselves to the police is wrong because no private citizen has a self-reporting duty.
“This is a breach of human rights,” says Andreassen, who represented a client accused of drink-driving in Monday’s Supreme Court hearing.
The defendant was involved in a traffic accident. He did not report it but was arrested within six hours of the incident, at which time a breath analysis revealed that he was under the influence of alcohol. But he claims that he was sober when the accident occurred.
The law on obligation to report
The Road Traffic Act states that anyone involved in a traffic accident, guilty or not, has a duty to report it to the police immediately.
But according to the ‘six-hour provision’, which came into force in 1981, if a driver is found to be under the influence when tested within six hours of an accident, it is assumed that the driver was also under the influence at the time of the accident.
This provision does not apply in Denmark and caused heated debate when it was adopted in the Faroes.
Translated by prosa.fo