DPP is changing how transit fines are handled

The public transit company wants to become a role model for enforcement

The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) will start to pursue collecting unpaid fines from unticketed passengers on its own through law firms. Until now, the DPP has sold its receivables including unpaid fines to external firms that either try to collect them or sell them on to other companies.

The DPP says the new system will be cost efficient and also more considerate to the people with unpaid fines.

“Receivables from unpaid fines will no longer go to external candidates as before. Claims will be enforced by ourselves through multiple law firms. This change is in line with the evolving case law and jurisprudence of the courts in this area. Law offices will ensure the recovery process from attempts at a settlement, through representation in the courts and then as far as a possible property seizure,” DPP CEO Martin Gillar said in a press release.

In 2014, the existing system of selling claims to third parties collapsed after a legal precedent was set by the District Court in Ústí nad Labem. The court decided that companies that bought up debts from transport companies throughout the Czech Republic are not entitled to high costs of legal representation and other additional fees that they have claimed. The court had clearly recommended that transport companies should collect the receivables themselves. This decision was later followed by other Czech courts, the press release stated.

“The current leadership is keen on establishing an effective [unpaid fine] recovery system, so that the entire process costs the least. The entire recovery process is now fully under the control of the DPP. This should greatly limit the excesses associated with the collection of unpaid fines. We want the whole process to be as considerate as possible to debtors while maintaining maximum efficiency. Our goal is to become a role model for enforcement in the public sector,” said Dalibor Kučera, head of the DPP legal department.

The fine for using public transportation without a ticket, or riding black as it is commonly called, is Kč 800 in Prague if paid on the spot. After 15 calendar days in increases to Kč 1,500. There are other fines for violating rules of travel as well. If someone has a valid transit pass but leaves it home, there is a Kč 50 fee if the person proves they had the pass.

The number fines each year has been fairly steady. In 2016 some 299,533 fines were issued and the DPP collected Kč 136 million.

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