Natalia Agre
President of the NGO “Road Safety Russia”

Foster the culture of road behaviour – the key objective of the society

25 October 2012

The «Road Safety Russia» public organization has many ambitious plans in the field of changing the culture of road behaviour on the roads of Russia. The culture of road behaviour clearly reflects the way of our life. And behavioral patterns in the society are vividly demonstrated in a culture of driving. The change of people’s demeanour in everyday life can not only lift the living standards but lower the risk of getting into a road crash also.

For quite a period of time we’ve been living in an atmosphere of total permissiveness and now it’s hard to pull ourselves up. We got used to violate laws little by little: I’ll drive fast, perhaps a policeman won’t stop me and I’ll slip through. We quit giving way to women first, giving place to elderly, greeting our neighbours. But politeness, compassion and awareness of the fact that everyone sets and example for an oncoming generation underlie the culture of road behaviour.

Every time when we work out a campaign to tackle one or another problem of road safety we think that it will contribute to the change in people’s demeanour. Social ad is an integral part of our activity and three years ago we tuned it from shocking and chilling to educative and setting worthy examples.

We appeal to drivers to bear responsibility not only for themselves but for their passengers as well. We address the passengers and call upon them to use their legitimate right for safe transportation. As a result passengers became an active group of road users and the term “passenger” went into a custom of mass media.

We highlighted the problem of child transportation safety and engaged experts who vigorously strived for the use of special child restraints in cars. Due to their joint efforts the number of publications covering this problem issued during three months of this year exceeded the total number of the corresponding reports published last year.

The subject of an appropriate speed mode, a very complicated issue for communication, was delivered through the prism of art by well-known film directors who shot a few shorts with the key message that life is worth of decelerating. It’s very important that film directors and actors participating in this project were imbued with the problem of road safety and they will remember it whilst shooting other films. It’s essential that protagonists are law-abiding road users because cinematography is an influential leverage of the society shaping.

At the Congress we declare the launch of a new campaign on pedestrian safety with the slogan “Pedestrian, to crosswalk!” The heart of the event is to raise public awareness on the pedestrian’s image. We invited Egor Beroev, a popular actor, to impersonate a perfect Russian pedestrian who observes road traffic rules, crosses the streets only at crosswalks and sets examples to others. If you think that it’s an ordinary social campaign, you are mistaken. It’s a stride to foster the image of a praiseworthy citizen of our country who abides by the law himself and calls upon others to do the same.

Having implemented our projects for many years we see the changes in the society and, consequently, on the roads. Despite the vehicle fleet growth in the country there is a strong reduction in road accidents and in severity of their consequences. It gives evidence that the level of culture is growing. Our observations are proved by the public opinion studies: people began to use safety belts, to respect pedestrians, to purchase child car seats, to admonish friends not to drive after drink.

It goes without saying that these positive trends are not only our sole merits. Our activities are an integral part of a scaled, multidimensional and systematic work being led by the State Road Traffic Police at the Ministry of the Interior of Russian Federation for years. Road safety improvement is our national strategy. The situation on roads and life in our country can be changed only through our joint efforts. Together we can save millions of human lives.



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