Seat belts clicked in Arkhangelsk

18 May 2013

On Saturday 18 May the nationwide “Buckle Up!” public awareness campaign arrived in Arkhangelsk. Educational activities for the whole family were held near the Petromost shopping centre on Leningradsky Avenue as part of the campaign, which aims to improve driver and passenger safety.

The “Arkhangelsk matryoshka”: in our Northern region, I buckle up before I drive! The design of the matryoshka is based on the stories of Stepan Pisakhov, a fairy tale writer from Arkhangelsk (1879-1960). Artist: honoured artist of Russia, Sergei Syukhin

The following were among those in attendance at the official opening ceremony: chairman of the Legislation and Judicial Committee of the Arkhangelsk Regional Assembly of Deputies, Stanislav Vtory, head of the Department of the State Automobile Inspectorate for Arkhangelsk Region, Alexei Maksimov, Dean of the Yagra Island Church of the Resurrection, priest Valery Suvorov, head of the “Buckle Up!” project, Alexandra Sidorenko, honoured artist of Russia, Sergei Syukhin, and cadets from the State Automobile Inspectorate.

Alexei Maksimov informed the audience that in the last four months of 2013, 51 people had been killed and more than 600 injured in road traffic accidents in Arkhangelsk Region, including 58 children. “The aim of the “Buckle Up!” campaign is to reduce the number of road traffic victims,” he said. “If everyone made it a rule to always buckle up, both in the front and in the back, there undoubtedly would be fewer victims.”

The educational activities held during the “Buckle Up!” event, which ran for the whole weekend, included competitions and tests on the theme of road safety. All the participants had the chance to test their knowledge of traffic regulations, take part in a vote “for” or “against” seat belts, have their photographs taken in matryoshki stand-in cutouts, and win prizes.

In addition, any adult who so wishes can try out the campaign’s special simulator, which replicates the sensation of sharp braking or a road crash. Although the simulator only has a speed of 12km per hour, it is enough to convince even the most resolute opponent of seat belts that it is vitally important to buckle up when in a moving vehicle. The organisers are warning people that the simulated crash impact is quite forceful. The simulator will be available to “test drive” in Arkhangelsk until 22 May.

The “Arkhangelsk matryoshka” deserves special mention. The creator of this work of art, Sergei Syukhin, drew inspiration from the fairy tales of Stepan Pisakhov. “I was delighted with the suggestion that a matryoshka be created that reflects local cultural traditions,” he said. “For me as an artist, everything is about the psyche of the Russian north. So I was happy to supply my pictures and produce the design for the matryoshka. I myself have been driving for 25 years. Of course, there was a time when I was dismissive of seat belts, but then as I got older I realised that it is essential to always buckle up.”

The main “Buckle Up!” campaign events are being held in ten large Russian cities: Vladimir, Veliky Novgorod, Vologda, Saratov, Arkhangelsk, Volgograd, Petrozavodsk, Kaluga, Pskov and Moscow. The dates and times of upcoming events can be found on the Road Safety Russia website

The campaign was initiated by the State Automobile Inspectorate of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, and is being run in partnership with the Russian Association of Motor Insurers and the NGO Road Safety Russia.



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