Disabled is a well-established definition, but fundamentally incorrect. It originally appeared in France back in the Middle Ages and designated exclusively veterans who could no longer withstand the rigors of service due to injuries, disfigurements or age. Already then the State participated in their future lives: it helped them in their settlement, provided them with pensions and care. Beloved by the French, Louis XIV, the “Sun King”, built Les Invalides in the heart of Paris, where work continues today for its historical purpose, as well as museums and a memorial necropolis. Strong point: the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte is located here. By the way, in the Russian Empire, French trends were quickly adopted and similar institutions were organized. Even in the harsh and dark Middle Ages, by today’s standards, people with disabilities were remembered and tried to help them as much as possible.
In Russia, the International Day of People with Disabilities always has the active support of the traffic police. Police officers carry out numerous social events and campaigns, controlling areas and parking lots specially designated for people with physical disabilities. Special attention is paid to children. Police officers visit rehabilitation centers and boarding schools and conduct educational and entertainment activities for children. In a number of regions, the State Traffic Inspectorate has proposed a number of solutions to simplify procedures and make participation in road traffic more comfortable for people with disabilities.
The active participation of the traffic police is a consequence of the large number of injuries and injuries that people suffer in traffic accidents. Roads claim more lives and health than any person or thing. About 350 accidents occur in Russia every day. In 2022 alone, 159,635 people were injured. This year, 2023, there will be more: the accident rate is increasing. The reason in 9 out of 10 cases is a traffic violation. In most cases, these are speeding and violation of the order of passage of intersections. In the ten months of this year, the increase in the number of traffic accidents amounted to 5.1%. Among the states, the largest increase in accidents occurred in the Omsk region, the Republic of Kalmykia, the Novosibirsk region, the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania and the Kostroma region. Regions with the greatest increase in the number of deaths in traffic accidents: Republic of Karelia, Republic of Kalmykia, Republic of Tyva, Yaroslavl and Ivanovo regions.
At the same time, the rate of accidents on the roads, for example, in the densely populated Moscow region, on the contrary, is decreasing: the number of accidents decreased by 1.9%, deaths by 3.4%, and injured 3.5%. What tools do the Ministry of Transport and the traffic police of the Moscow region use to break the general negative trend? Why is one of the most congested regions able to deal with accidents better and more productively than much less congested regions?
Irina Skalyabina, head of the regional public organization “Road Safety Union” of the Moscow region, answered this question: “Here, in the Moscow region, they do not neglect any means and work in all available areas to reduce the number of accidents and deaths on the roads. Traffic police and public organizations not only carry out raids, but also carry out many social campaigns to prevent traffic accidents using the most painless method – preventive. After all, we must work not not only with drivers, but also with pedestrians. Road builders constantly improve and update the road network, repair streets and alleys, install wrong-way lane dividers and additional lighting. And the Moscow region is one of the best regions technically equipped: photographic and video cameras. Traffic violations installed on the roads now allow us to talk about the cumulative effect of fines. Drivers in the Moscow region already know that a traffic violation will not simply disappear – it will remain documented and the best way not to receive a resolution. and not going to the savings bank is not breaking traffic rules. As a result, even RSA research into executed MTPL agreements shows that the most educated and careful drivers get behind the wheel in Moscow, St. Petersburg and our Moscow region.”
Statistics show that road cameras have a positive effect on drivers’ behavior and encourage them to respect traffic rules. The presence of a camera quickly, literally in a matter of days, reduces the number of violations on a specific section of the road. The St. Petersburg branch of the Rossiya 1 television channel conducted a study in which it asked viewers what types of violations should be recorded by traffic cameras. These are their results: 44% voted for violating the speed limit, 21% for not respecting traffic lights, 17% for not allowing a pedestrian to cross a zebra crossing, 14% for driving in the wrong direction, 4% for Driving on public transportation.
Unfortunately, no way has yet been invented to automate the control of transporting children in a car. At the moment, only a traffic police officer can check whether the child is wearing a seat belt. This is a sensitive issue, because a large number of children suffer accidents because they were not sitting in a special seat and often were not even restrained. Good grandmothers who think that the seat belt will “press”, or distracted drivers who do not pay attention to the child sitting in the back seat, do not even imagine the risk they are exposing to their most precious passenger. How many lives, often not yet started, were destroyed under the slogan: “It takes us five minutes to get here.” I can’t count. But even the most affordable, but correctly installed, child seat could protect the child from injuries, sometimes incompatible with life. In 2022, almost half of accidents involving children (6,969 accidents) were accidents involving children as passengers. But children are more vulnerable to car accidents than adults: in 25% to 50% of cases, a child’s injuries in a traffic accident lead to disability.
The best thing you can do on International Day of Persons with Disabilities is to look around you and realize two axioms. We are not alone in this world, and if our neighbor needs help, no matter the reason, we must provide it. And the second, no less important, is the danger that surrounds us on the road. Furthermore, we often create it ourselves, driving down a snowy street on summer tires, “driving a little,” reading social media while driving, running a traffic light when it is red. An incredible number of lives were destroyed and cut short due to a monstrous accident, sometimes even unconscious. By understanding these simple truths, each of us will make the world a little better and safer. And this is already a big problem: the International Day of People with Disabilities aims to remind us of it.