From Iceland — Authorities Confront Czech Tour Company

Authorities Confront Czech Tour Company

Published August 11, 2011

Various Icelandic authorities are considering how to prevent incidents such as though recently caused by the tour bus company Tatrabus, which was recently discovered to be engaging in reckless driving and off-roading, both of which are expressly illegal.
As the Grapevine reported, last Friday a group of Czech tourists were taking a bus ride across the interior of southeast Iceland, riding with the Czech tour bus company Tatrabus. At some part of the tour, the driver lost control of the bus and it ended up upside-down in the lake Blautulón. All passengers on board escaped unharmed, although litres of oil spilled into the lake.
Since then, it has come to light that this is not the first accident involving Tatrabus. Alert readers have also given Grapevine evidence of both reckless driving and driving in environmentally protected areas in the form of the company’s own promotional video footage.
Icelandic blogger Lára Hanna Einarsdóttir also provided screenshots of the comments Icelanders have made on their Facebook page, where Tatrabus has been deleting wall posts from Icelanders that have been critical of the company.
Vísir reports that police have had difficulty narrowing done a list of suspected drivers to just one – Tatrabus regularly rotates their drivers.
However, RÚV reports that the Ministry of the Environment is working on new legislation that would establish stricter guidelines for where someone may or may not drive in the highlands.
Guðmundur Hörður Guðmundsson, director of the Icelandic Environment Association, believes this is not enough. He says he would like to see police stationed in the Highlands, or give existing rangers the power to arrest and issue fines.

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