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10PODGORICA24 2010-02-11 14:08:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Podgorica
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1. Per reftel instruction, Post delivered distracted
driving demarche points to Ms. Selma Mehovic, Head of the Police
Directorate's International Police Cooperation Department, and
Mr. Milorad Usancevic, Head of the Police Directorate's Traffic
Police Division. Neither had any immediate substantive comments.

2. According to the records kept by the Ministry of
Interior and Public Administration, there are 213,638 validly
licensed drivers in Montenegro (out of a total population of
approximately 620,000.) Of these, nearly one-third are between
the ages of 18 and 30.

3. Offences related to road transport safety have been
defined by the Law on Road Transport Safety. Article 18 of the
Law forbids the usage of cell phones while driving and levies a
fine of 20 Euros for the offence. In addition, a driving
prohibition may be imposed for more serious offences. No other
document or action of the national authorities exclusively
addresses the use of cell phones while driving.

4. In 2009, there were 10,112 traffic accidents in
Montenegro, resulting in 100 fatalities. There is no available
data on how many of the deaths were related to distracted
driving. The Strategy on Road Transport Safety Improvement,
issued in December 2009, stated the main causes of traffic
accidents nationwide include: the low level of citizens'
awareness of the dangers of road travel; a weak "transport
culture" concerning both drivers and pedestrians; the violation
or ignorance of regulations related to road transport safety;
and insufficient training of both new and continuing drivers.

5. The Strategy on Road Transport Safety Improvement
proposed an educational campaign to raise public awareness of a
safe transport culture via TV spots showing drastic examples of
driving violations and the consequences of such behavior.
Additionally, the Government of Montenegro will begin publishing
annually the number of traffic accidents and fatalities
nationwide, and compare those figures on both a regional and
European Union level. There have been educational campaigns by
the GoM in the past, but all of them similarly focused on the
general issue of road safety, not the specific dangers of using
cell phones while driving.

6. There is no available research regarding the
effectiveness of the legal system in preventing distracted
driving in Montenegro.

7. In this nation of 620,000 citizens, there are 1.29
million mobile communication devices, putting the Montenegrin
penetration rate at 209 percent. In December 2009, over 110
million registered text messages (SMS) were sent nationwide.