Russia fastens its seatbelts
On Saturday 8 June Moscow’s Sokolnik iPark hosted the Buckle Up Russia! Festival, the grand finale of the huge “Buckle Up!” public awareness campaign. The campaign was organised by the Russian State Automobile Inspectorate, the Russian Association of Motor Insurers (RAMI) and the NGO Road Safety Russia. “Buckle Up!” is the first public awareness campaign on road safety to be mounted on such a scale, with every region of Russia taking part.
Russian history and traditions with a national flavour are at the heart of the campaign, with the aim of appealing to everyone in Russia. Over a period of several months the “Buckle Up!” campaign has involved a vast range of people: distinguished artists, reputed experts from the scientific community, representatives of government bodies and the Church, adults, young people, children, professional drivers, pedestrians and passengers. Many of them also attended the festival, as did heads of State Automobile Inspectorate road safety promotion departments from different parts of the Russian Federation, lieutenant general of police and Head of the Road Traffic Safety Department, Victor Nilov, President of RAMI, Pavel Bunin, President of Road Safety Russia, Natalia Agre, Director of the ‘Decorative Box’ TV advert, Mikhail Aldashin, folk singer Nadezhda Babkina and many more.
The scale and national character of the festival were highlighted by an exhibition of two-metre-tall matryoshki from every region of Russia. Each matryoshka is unique, just like Russia’s regions, but they have one feature in common – a buckled seat belt. The matryoshka parade was held to show that the people of Russia are united in their support for road safety. The exhibition may even get into the Guinness Book of Records, since it is the first ever event of its kind. An application has already been submitted to the committee which registers new records.
Two marquees with interactive zones attracted around 100,000 people. Two thousand of them even had a go in the car crash simulator which replicates road traffic accidents at a speed of 12 km/h. Prior to this the “Buckle Up!” marquees had toured the ten regions of Russia and vividly demonstrated the importance of seat belts to hundreds of thousands of people. In total, over 500,000 people have taken part in the “Buckle Up!” campaign events.
The Buckle Up Russia! Festival was enjoyed by adults and children alike and many visitors came with their families. Victor Nilov noted that the campaign includes events aimed at children, because it is important that children start learning about road safety from as young as possible. “One issue we are very concerned about is children travelling in cars”, the Chief Inspector for Road Safety in the Russian Federationsaid. “We are working with educational establishments to undertake preventative measures, following an analysis of accidents associated with children travelling in cars . But it’s a complicated issue and so we all need to work together to ensure that preventative work is done everywhere”.
Natalia Agre, President of Road Safety Russia, agreed with the position of the State Automobile Inspectorate: “For several months now, starting with a meeting with the Prime Minister on road safety issues, we have been trying to get our message across to the Ministry of Education and Science. We are calling on them to increase the number of hours devoted in schools to learning about traffic regulations. We are also asking them to insert amendments into the Federal State Education Standard so that the essential elements of teaching about road safety are clearly set out. We propose that questions on road safety be included in the Unified State Exam [Russian university admissions exam] and the compulsory school-leaving exams. Knowledge of traffic regulations is as important as knowledge of times tables. The growing numbers of cars on the roads mean that awareness of road safety is essential for everyone and the majority of yesterday’s school pupils will be the drivers of tomorrow”.
Nevertheless, as Natalia Agre pointed out, there have been significant improvements in child safety, as parents are becoming more responsible when travelling by car with children. “Just one week ago, on 1 June (which was Children’s Day), as I approached the All-Russia Exhibition Centre for one of the “Buckle Up!” campaign events, I noticed that in almost every car children were in car seats. Even two years ago, it was a very different story”.
Statistics from the State Automobile Inspectorate back up these observations: during the first five months of 2013 there were 2,627 road traffic accidents involving children in cars, resulting in the deaths 117 children. This represents a reduction of 17% compared to the same period last year.
Pavel Bunin, President of RAMI, noted that, in terms of effectiveness, all the joint programmes so far carried out with the State Automobile Inspectorate and Road Safety Russia have yielded positive results. “For us the most important indicator of the effectiveness of the campaigns is lives saved. I am convinced that the unusual and innovative “Buckle Up!” campaign will contribute to a reduction in the numbers of accidents on Russian roads and improved driver attitudes and behaviour”.
The Buckle Up! Festival finished with a concert, including stars such as Nadezhda Babkina, the group Russkaya Pesnya and folk group Posle 11.
More information on the results of the “Buckle Up!” campaign will be available soon on the websites of Road Safety Russia and the State Automobile Inspectorate.
More photos you can find in our social groups - Facebook
CommentsSo that to post a comment you need to login the web site
- I had got a desire to begin my own business, but I didn't have enough of money to do that. Thank heaven my colleague suggested to use the <a href="http://goodfinance-blog.com/topics/home-loans">home loans</a>. So I received the car loan and realized my old dream. RichardsJo RichardsJo 01.07.2013 04:47