The First Innovative Children's Center for Road Safety Opened Its Doors in Tula

14 March 2017

The State Motor Vehicle Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Russian Association of Motor Insurers, and the “Risk-Free Road Traffic” Expert Center announced launching the new program: “Safety Laboratory” as part of the program of creating centers for prevention of child road traffic injuries. The first center was opened in Tula during a round-table discussion on the basis of the Education Center No. 7 with the participation of Aleksey Dyumin, the Region's Governor; Viktor Nilov, the Head of the Main Directorate for Road Traffic Safety of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs; Igor Yurgens, the President of the Russian Association of Motor Insurers; and Nataliya Agre, the President of the “Risk-Free Road Traffic” Expert Center. Note that the program is being implemented pursuant to Clause 3 Subclause “o” Paragraph 2 of the List of Instructions of the President of the Russian Federation No. Pr-637GS dated April 11, 2016, following the meeting of the Presidium of the State Council of the Russian Federation on March 14, 2016.

Since 2005, decrease in the number of road accidents involving children under 16 has been almost 25%. However, if you look at the absolute figures, the number of accidents is still very high. In 2016, there were 19,269 road traffic accidents (RTA) involving children, in which 710 children were killed, and 20,621 were injured. The “Safety Laboratory” is a versatile program aimed at reducing the number of RTAs involving children, preventing the key risk factors in the field of children’s safety on roads, and forming a culture of behavior on roads.

Before the round table, Aleksey Dyumin, Viktor Nilov, Igor Yurgens, and Nataliya Agre familiarized themselves with the Safety Laboratory’s vehicle designed to visualize and mobilize topics on children’s road safety. Vladimir Bakharev, the Chief Coach of the “Risk-Free Road Traffic” Center, told the guests about the vehicle’s features, noting that it allows for the full staff of teachers to travel to remote areas of the Region and to bring with them all the necessary equipment for conducting classes based on the developed methods. Inside the vehicle, there are bicycles, push stand-up scooters, cones, demonstration stands, mock-up tables, elements of the road network, as well as a model of a bus stop and a bus model. All this equipment is intended to simulate road traffic situations and to training in road behavior patterns under conditions as close to real ones as possible.

In practice, one could evaluate the exercise effectiveness as used under the “Safety Laboratory” program of the Education Center’s gym, where the “Risk-Free Road Traffic” team, together with fifty pupils, practiced the “Pedestrians” and “Two-Wheeled Vehicles” modules. The Governor and the Head of the Russian General Directorate for Road Safety highly appreciated the level at which the event was held, after which they started the work of the round table on pressing issues of road safety.

Aleksey Dyumin, the Head of Tula Region, was the first to take the floor during the round table discussion. He noted that the number of RTAs and accidents’ victims has been constantly decreasing in the Region. Thus, in 2016, the RTA number was reduced by 11.6%; was almost 300 fewer accidents, as compared to 2015. The Governor stressed that, although the reduction of road traffic injuries is also observed in the category of pedestrians, the issues is still urgent. In many cases, a RTA is due to the fault of a pedestrian himself or herself, who deliberately violates the Traffic Regulations. Therefore, so important are serious public awareness activity, educating people to respect the law, holding various social events.


The Governor highly appreciated the results of the “Crosswalk Concerns” Campaign conducted in February and March this year by the State Motor Vehicle Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Russian Association of Motor Insurers and supported by the “Risk-Free Road Traffic” Expert Center. Aleksey Dyumin stated that it had been a notable event in the Region, that had demonstrated a new level in the field of road traffic accident prevention. It had involved over 50 educational institutions, the Interdistrict Registration and Examination Office of the State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate, railway stations, retail and entertainment centers, hypermarkets.

Nataliya Agre, the President of the “Risk-Free Road Traffic” Center, spoke in more details about the content of the “Safety Laboratory” program, which includes several blocks: for minors accompanied by adults, for unaccompanied young pedestrian, and for future drivers. There are separately provided modules in which teachers and parents are trained. The blocks are designed based on different problems of these categories, which determine the meaning and the way to present the information materials. The uniqueness of the methodology lies in the affordable way of presenting information, a wide audience coverage, and the program’s mobility. In total, the project will involve over thirty regions; the first ten constituent entities were Tula, Kostroma, Tambov, Smolensk, Vladimir, Kaluga, Yaroslavl, Voronezh, Leningrad Regions and the Republic of Khakassia.

Igor Yurgens, the RAMI’s President, told that since 2003 insurance companies, in collaboration with the road police carry out expert and public work to increase the road safety, which is done not only for RAMI’s business benefits, but also for public ends. The new project, in which the Association of Motor Insurers has invested, was the “Safety Laboratory” launched in Tula.

In his speech, Igor Yurgens stressed that another urgent issue in the field of insurance is now a large-scale project to update and reform the compulsory civil liability motor-vehicle insurance system (OSAGO). 

In particular, new amendments to the Law on OSAGO are being prepared, after adoption of which the main form to settle damages will be reimbursement in kind, i.e. the repair will be paid by the insurance companies. This will improve the situation for car owners and reduce the number of fraud cases.

The results of the round table discussion were summed up by Viktor Nilov, who noted the important role of the public in matters of road safety and the Road Regulations enforcement. The Chief State Motor Vehicle Inspector stressed that road users increasingly want to influence the situation on the roads to make driving conditions safer and more comfortable. So, if each driver, pedestrian, and passenger takes responsibility for himself or herself and for other road users, the whole situation will change drastically.

Viktor Nilov cited the fact that only 5-6 years ago we talked about the problem of drivers who did not give way to pedestrians on crosswalks, that of children transported without child car seat, and every tenth RTA was committed through the fault of the driver in a state of intoxication. Today, we can see the outcome of the systematic work to increase the level of the culture on roads: the cases on non-giving way to pedestrians become exceptions; children under 12 years are transported, as a rule, in child restraints, and RTAs involving drunk drivers are less frequent. Moreover, almost every 12th drunk driver was apprehended due to information coming from individuals.

During the round table discussion, one of such individuals – A.V. Karazh was rewarded for his assistance in apprehending an offender – a “drunk driver”. Viktor Nilov presented him a letter of thanks and wished that there were as many such responsible individuals as possible.

The project organizers will transfer the developed methodology of the “Safety Laboratory” project and the vehicle to Tula Region; they will also train the teachers, after which they will support the project for two year not only remotely, but also by paying visits to the constituent entity as necessary. In total, it is planned to train about 4,000 children for the duration of the program in the Region.



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