President of the Russian Federation set main directions on road safety

16 March 2016

In Yaroslavl, President Vladimir Putin presided over a State Council meeting on road safety in the Russian Federation. Federal authorities’ representatives, high-level regional officials participated in the event.

Opening the meeting, Vladimir Putin noted that the topic of road safety was discussed in detail during a State Council meeting yet in 2005 - about eleven years ago. This discussion resulted in important legislative amendments, as well as changes in traffic rules and, more importantly, in initiation and realization of the Federal Target Program for 2006-2012.

In eleven years, significant results have been achieved when it comes to road safety: death rates plummeted from 34,000 killed in 2005 to 23,1000 killed in 2015 (decrease of 32%). Road injury rates among children were cut by half: from 1,341 killed in 2005 to 4,841 killed in 2015.

Significant progress has been made in improving road safety culture among all road users, especially when it comes to seat belts and child restraint systems. According to Road Safety Russia and WCIOM, car seats are now used by 59% of parents when transporting a child (in comparison with 32% in 2011). Drivers now buckle up in 71% of cases, comparing to mere 32% in 2007.

These achievements were recognized by the President. Vladimir Putin noted that not only road accident death rates halved, it happened alongside with the active motorization of the Russian Federation (1.5 increase in motor fleet). He stated, that in many Russian cities there were 300 vehicles per 1,000 of the population, and these numbers would only grow.

The President noted that further efforts on road safety required coordination of activities on all levels, as well as cooperation between federal and local authorities, related departments and businesses. Putin stressed out the necessity of improvement of the legislation regulating various aspects of road safety.

According to the President, when it comes to reducing death and injury rates on the Russian roads, the key lies in education and formation of road safety culture among all road users. This implies following traffic rules, being responsible, careful, and respectful on the road, recognizing responsibility for your life and lives of others, as well as prioritizing road safety above all.

Formation of road culture should begin in the very first years of life. That is why Vladimir Putin highlighted the priority of educating children on safe road behavior. “We need to develop special programs implying the creation of road education centers in schools and child road injuries prevention centers”, Putin said.

According to the Road Safety Russia president, Natalia Agre, the idea of a continuous education for drivers and pedestrians has existed for a long time. However, developing such educational and informational programs requires involvement of qualified road safety experts, with their profound expertise crucial for sustainable results. “You can’t just have classes in kindergartens and schools for appearance's sake. We need to make sure that educational programs are up to par, that our teachers and instructors have extensive training and necessary qualifications. Moscow and some other Russian cities already have numerous centers for children’s road safety education, however, those center lack successful educational programs, as well as competent teachers or instructors”, said Natalia Agre.

Over the past three years, Road Safety Russia together with the State Road Traffic Inspectorate at the Russian Ministry of Interior and the Russian Association of Motor Insurers have been putting into action the idea of a continuous road safety education in more than forty Russian regions. Special classes in kindergartens, primary and high schools, universities produced positive results: regions-participants of social campaigns experienced reduction of road accident and injuries rates. When it comes to driving schools, road safety education receives insufficient coverage, with most of the curriculum being centered on traffic rules and driving skills. Moreover, driving schools are mostly attended by adults with already formed personalities, which is why it’s harder to correct their behavior at this point. However, most road accidents happen due to poor road culture. Continuous approach to road safety education helps form road culture from the very first years of life, which results in positive long-term effects, including bringing up a future generation of responsible and respectful road users.



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