Russian cops to crack down on reckless drivers

New rules are being introduced across Russia in an effort to crack-down on reckless drivers. Stiff penalties also come into force as Russian authorities try to reduce the country's high number of road-deaths.

In 2006 alone, almost 27,000 people died and some 250,000 more were injured. In some cases fines have increased twenty-fold.

From the beaten-up Lada to new four-wheel-drives, cars rule the city of Moscow and this doesn’t just bring daily traffic jams.

A rush hour traffic jam is a familiar   
                          sight for Russia's capital
A rush hour traffic jam is a familiar sight for Russia's capital

Every year in Russia over 30,000 people are killed in traffic accidents,1,200 of them children. This means there is ten times more road deaths per vehicle here than in Germany or Britain.

But new traffic rules aim to kick this recklessness to the curb.

“The official goal of the new law is to regulate the relations between traffic inspectors and drivers and to increase the responsibility for certain law violations,” Police Colonel Vladimir Kuzin notes.

From now on trying to beat the traffic will be a lot more expensive.

Driving on the pavement, for example, will cost you $US 80 when it used to be $US 4. For the first time being caught talking on your mobile while driving will set you back $US 12. There’ll be a $US 4 fine for making a turn from the wrong lane, and driving on the wrong side of the road will mean a 6-month suspended licence.

And this is just the first stage. In January and July next year further measures will be introduced to stop drivers running a red light, speeding and driving without a seatbelt.