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55 out of 58 pseudo-historical cars in Prague fail inspections

55 out of 58 pseudo-historical cars in Prague fail inspections

Prague’s ongoing effort to clean up the tourism sector has led to inspections of faux-historical vehicles, sightseeing buses, and street trains. The results were not favorable.

“During the summer, there were 11 inspection days of pseudo-historical vehicles and sightseeing coaches, which every Prague citizen certainly noticed. We’ve found a lot of crazy things,” Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě) said on Facebook.

The
inspections took place from June
25 to August 23.
They focused primarily on ensuring compliance with the conditions for
road transport, technical condition of vehicles, and compliance with
all legal regulations related to motor transport business in the
center of Prague. In addition, mobile emission measurements and
mobile weighing were carried out on inspected vehicles.

Pseudo-historical car. via Facebook

“We wanted to
ensure safety and compliance with all regulations related to the
nature of the business that buses and pseudo-historical vehicles
operate under. The same rules apply to all, which everyone must
adhere to without exception, and the same applies to compliance with
emission standards,” Scheinherr said.

While the
classic cars
offering tours look like vehicles from the
1940s or earlier, they are actually modern cars that have been
retrofitted with new retro-style body over
the chassis.

Out of 58 mock
historical cars that were inspected, 55 had problems. Ten had to be
towed immediately and 22 were given a 30-day notice to fix defects or
lose road certification. One car was missing its vehicle
identification number (VIN), which is a criminal offense.

“Concerning
pseudo-historical vehicles, their alarming
technical condition and how they were registered was the most
striking. They also often lacked
the necessary documents to operate a taxi service, transport
service or concession,” Scheinherr
said.

He
recounted some of the technical flaws. “We saw a
whell attached with a single-bolt, a
homemade welded vehicle frame, sharp protruding edges … rear-view
mirrors from motorcycles, and broken headlights and wipers. Just
hell!” he said.

Tourist sightseeing bus. via Facebook

Aside
from that, there was a mess with basic
paperwork. “Vehicles are registered as
unspecified forestry and agricultural machinery such as a tractor or
snowmobile. Or a six-seat LPG motorcycle. One car had no registration
at all,” he added.

Sightseeing buses, where tourists get off and back on, often lacked the necessary documents and had missing records of driver breaks and driving times. Drivers often had a foreign license. “The buses run as they wish, outside the approved stops and routes,” Scheinherr said.

Smoke from a street train. via Facebook

For street trains, linked trailers pulled by a choo choo train–shaped car in the front, had the largest measured emission values seen so far in Prague. “At the start up, the values exceeded the limit by 200 times and afterward only ‘only’ four times,” Scheinherr said.They also had mismanaged or non-existent records.

The
problems were found largely in the Prague 1 district. “We do not
support tourist excesses
in Prague 1, it is one of the biggest problems we have in the city
district. Transport associated with tourism is burdening Prague’s
conservation area, and I appreciate the effort to comply with the
applicable rules and limit these undesirable phenomena,” David
Skála, Councilor for Transport of Prague 1,
said on the City Hall website.

The
inspections will continue, and in October a
summary of the
results of the administrative proceedings
and suggestions will be filed
with the Transport Ministry.

Earlier in the year, the city limited the routes and parking areas for pseudo-historical vehicles as they were taking up spaces meant for residents. The city is also trying to eliminate beer bikes in the city center. Prague has been a victim of overtourism, which has been putting a burden on the city center in particular.