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25 Dec, 2006 13:17

Russian roads prove safer this year

Russian roads prove safer this year

The Head of the Russian Traffic safety department, Viktor Kiryanov, said at a press conference the roads of the country have become less deadly. Nevertheless, he pointed out, that the sheer number of road accidents has been growing.

Mr Kiryanov reports that 29,300 people have died on the roads of the country this year, which is 6% lower than last year. However, the overall number of traffic accidents has risen by 1.5% lifting the injury toll to nearly 260,000 people. He also has expressed concern over the number of accidents which the drivers were to be blamed for.

“Every fourth road traffic accident was due to the driver's incorrect choice of speed, every fifth – to driving along the opposite-direction lane and wrong crossing of road intersections, and every tenth – to alcoholic intoxication. Over 1,000,000 drivers have been detained for driving under the influence,” he said.

Statistics show road accidents kill daily up to 4 children and injure up to 60. Half of the accidents involving children happen through the drivers' fault.

Following these reports the Russian State Duma is planning to raise the drivers' awareness by toughening fines for breaking traffic regulations. While some drivers agree it could help improve the situation on the roads, others say it may increase the amount of bribes given to road police.

Officials hope the new regulations will promote the continuing trend toward safe driving.