Natalia Agre
President of the NGO “Road Safety Russia”

Do mention the speedometer

06 April 2012

Speed – is the main reason of all troubles on the roads. Excess of the speed limits or incorrect speed choice is a particular type of driver's offences. For ordinary drivers such things as "hanging outs" on the roads, driving on the oncoming traffic side, moving on the red light – are unacceptable and forbidden. Such driving is very dangerous and can lead to serious consequences. At the same time, rather small excess of the established speed mode is considered as quite normal and excusable. Moreover, it isn’t even a big violation, so to say, the main thing – is not to be “caught” by the inspector or the CCTV.

According to the results of statistics prepared by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center in 2011, only a third of the Russian population considers that exceeding speed mode limits on 30 km/h is a really serious violation. About 20 % of drivers don't even know that traffic regulations restrict speed limits depending on the specific road conditions; only 25 % heard something about it, so is that, nearly a half of all drivers doesn't know how to behave themselves under various weather conditions.

As a consequence of this statistical fact more than a third of all road accidents occurs because of speed limit excess, or discrepancy of speed to the specific road conditions. And during the majority of road accident investigations becomes clear that incorrectly chosen speed has indirect impact on tragic consequences of road accident. So, for example, driving on an oncoming side is the official accident reason, and excess of admissible speed is considered as a secondary factor. Or running-down the pedestrian at a crosswalk on the admissible speed in the city (60 km/h), where the drivers in any case should lower the speed.

Thus, as we know, violation of the speed mode is one of the most frequent reasons of road accidents, and, according to physics, speed increasing leads to increasing weight of consequences of road accident in a geometrical progression. For example, road accident at the speed of 30 km – risk of a fatal outcome for the pedestrian is about 5 %; at 50 km – 40 %, and at 65 km – almost 84%. At the collision depending on the speed, not fastened people receive the same damages, as well  while falling on the firm basis from different height: 40 km - 6,3 m; 60 km -14 m; 80 km - 25 m.

While automakers continue to create and advertize more and more powerful cars which allow to drive on such speeds which aren't allowed in any country of the world. Commercials propagandize mad speed races. And this contradiction between reasonable demands of safety and desire to advertize perfect powerful cars, in fact, misinforms consumers, urging them to drive quicker and quicker. Automakers should take into consideration the consequences which can happen, pay more attention to social responsibility of the business in the field of safety on the roads.

For this reason such violation of the rules as speed limits excess or the incorrect speed choice became the main reason for the large-scale social campaign «No Rush» led by the State traffic inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russian Federation with the support of the Russian union of the auto insurers. The project is realized by the public organization « Road Safety Russia ».

This social campaign starts in April, when snow melt, roads dry up, and drivers become careless. And this is the very exact time to remind them about the necessity of a right speed choice. And that the speedometer deserves the attention.



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