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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Russia is losing the relevance of the adage about “fools and roads”

2016 continued optimistic processes number of accidents on Russian roads. In particular, the mortality rate in road accidents fell by 12 percent. It is an occasion to recall the reasons for optimistic trends, especially as we are talking about public policy, the main result of which is that Russia is accustomed to live “like in Europe”.

Russian statistics on accidents on the roads in 2016 continued its multi-year positive trend. According to the head of traffic police Victor Nilov, the number of accidents in the past year decreased by 6.1%, injuries – by 5%, and the mortality rate fell by 12%.

“The main driver of the improvement of the situation on the Russian roads, of course, is public policy”

In addition seriously improved statistics on pedestrian safety. 18% decrease in overall pedestrian deaths, and 18.2% of deaths on pedestrian crossings. 1.8% decrease in the number of accidents involving children and the number of deaths of children declined by 4.7%. These figures are particularly impressive, given the growing from year to year the Russian car Park and congestion.

Positive developments on the Russian roads forced once again to address the reasons underlying them.

Of course, – and not a little – the role of improving safety of the vehicles ridden by the Russians. The same airbags are becoming more common, and their share of all cars on Russian roads is growing steadily.

However, the main driver for the improvement in the roads, of course, is public policy – not always pleasing to people, but year by year is steadily improving statistics proving its effectiveness.

The most important factor is the development of road infrastructure. It is as high-quality road surface and equipment with tools that improve their safety, such as modern lighting systems. The improvement of roads in Russia citizens see with their own eyes. It came down to the fact that traditional domestic joke about “fools and roads” has lost a substantial share of their relevance and ceased to be popular.

At the same time, state investment in road infrastructure, of course, have their own characteristics. For example, this year, the Federal government has allocated to the Russian regions of 8.3 billion rubles for the construction of rural roads to settlements and production facilities, and the Agency has allocated 87,7 billion rubles for the construction and reconstruction of more than one thousand kilometers of new roads in the Russian regions. Chelyabinsk oblast in the same year 2017 will spend 7.3 billion, and 1 billion it will receive from the Federal budget.

However, these seemingly quite decent figures somewhat fade into the background information that in Moscow this year for road construction will be allocated 150 billion rubles. However, it should be noted that from the point of view of statistics of road accidents the situation in Moscow is the best in the country.

Anyway, the improvement in the quality of roads in Russia is an objective fact which is the direct and most positive impact on the improvement of the situation with accident rate. In addition, it is, of course, is the most positive rating companies.

A much more controversial situation with another, perhaps even more important area of public policy – to improve road safety. We are talking about the beginning of for many years and steadily the continued tightening of regulations for citizens on the road: insurance, a sharp increase in the size of the fines system electronic locking and, as a consequence, a massive “chain letters,” citizens, increasingly stringent monitoring of police compliance by drivers and passengers of the requirements for seat belts, child seats, etc.

All of the above, and much more mixed feelings among many citizens, often with irritation and sometimes even protests. However, it is unlikely that these opinions will be heard, rather we can expect further inevitable “crackdown”.

The reason is simple: in General, Russian society on their own experience checked and realized that the old Patriotic dream that Russia was “in Europe”, requires the European standards – both in requirements and penalties for non-compliance. And here is the traditional domestic very “loose” relation to the requirements of the SDA increasingly gives way to habit their rigid execution.


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