Since the beginning of this year, the dynamics of traffic accidents in Russia have changed. If earlier, for several years in the winter-spring period, its main indicators were falling, then in 2023 they rose. Police Lieutenant General Mikhail Chernikov, head of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate for Road Safety, explained to Rossiyskaya Gazeta why this is happening and what the state traffic inspectorate is doing to deal with the new challenges.
Mikhail Yuryevich, since the beginning of the year in Russia there has been an increase in the rate of traffic accidents. With what, in your opinion, can it be connected?
Mikhail Chernikov: It should be noted that over the past year and a half, the direction of traffic flows in our country has changed dramatically. If until the end of winter 2022, freight and passenger traffic in Russia was oriented mainly to the west, including foreign transit through Russian territory, then in the middle of last year, the logistics of domestic transport, for obvious reasons, became confidently redirected. to the Far East, Southeast and South. The transport infrastructure, developed mainly in a European direction, was not ready for such changes. As a result, the main transport arteries began to operate in overload mode and the transport mileage increased.
At the same time, in the context of the closure of borders with hostile countries and the restriction of air traffic, the volume of organized internal tourist flow increased. The proportion of tourists arriving at the place of rest by car has also increased. In addition, due to the closure of airports, the burden of road transport on passenger transport has increased. And I have mentioned just a few of the challenges we have faced lately.
The number of traffic accidents during the 5 months of the current year has increased slightly, but road users have become less likely to die in them. Statistics show an increase in the number of accidents by 5.2%, which totaled almost 44.5 thousand accidents of this type. They killed 4,639 (+3.1%) and injured 2,623 (+4.9%) people. However, in absolute terms, these percentages of increase in deaths are 139, and in injuries, 56,241 people. Nearly one in three traffic fatalities was caused by colliding with oncoming traffic. Every fourth participant in an accident (23.2% or 1077 people) died in accidents related to the violation of the speed limit. At the same time, the number of accidents due to drivers who do not have the right to drive vehicles increased by 1.9% (2465).
The conditions that accompanied the death of the overwhelming number of pedestrians were: dark time of day – 67%, adverse weather conditions – 47.8%, and the absence of retroreflective elements on their clothing – 97.1%. At the same time, the largest number of pedestrians who died at night were fatally injured between 6:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m., that is, after the end of the working day (49.6%).
And what measures do you propose to take in this situation?
Mikhail Chernikov: Proposed? In Russia, over the past 15 years, a comprehensive approach to ensuring road safety, a gradual reduction in deaths in road accidents has been formed and is being implemented, and consistent measures are being taken to increase the protection of road users. road of its consequences. The regulatory and legal framework is being improved, the activities of road owners are additionally regulated, and a system for photo and video recording of violations of the Rules of the Road is being developed.
The main tool to implement this approach was the program-target method, and later the project method. This made it possible to systematically address the issues of improving road safety, and also contributed to the consolidation of the efforts of the federal and regional executive powers, local governments, legislative bodies and public organizations to solve problems in this matter. .
Thanks to the measures taken within the framework of the specific federal programs “Improvement of road safety in 2006-2012, in 2013-2020”, as well as the implementation of the federal project “Road Safety”, Russia has managed to reduce the number of people who die annually as a result of traffic accidents from 32 thousand people in 2005 to 14 thousand in 2022.
Is it possible to achieve the indicators proposed by the national project “Safe Quality Routes”?
Mikhail Chernikov: The main indicator of the federal project “Road Safety”, which is an integral part of the national project “High-quality safe roads”, is defined as “transport risk”, that is, the number of deaths in traffic accidents per 10,000 vehicles. Despite the difficult situation due to economic difficulties, unprecedented sanctioning pressure and the aforementioned traffic diversion, we achieved the target value of this target of 2.34 in 2022, although 2.42 was expected according to forecasts. I am sure that all participants in the federal and national projects will do their best to achieve the established indicators of “transport risk” by 2023: no more than 2.25 traffic deaths per 10,000 vehicles.
With your permission, Mikhail Yurievich, let’s move from strategic to prosaic tasks. Responsibility for the repeated commission of serious offenses in our country rises to criminal liability. In particular, liability for non-execution of a precautionary measure depriving the right to drive a vehicle. What’s the score?
Mikhail Chernikov: Amendments to the Criminal Code establish the liability for driving a vehicle of a person deprived of the right to drive and subject to administrative sanction or having a criminal record for acts related to driving a vehicle in the absence of such right. This is article 264.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. And there is also article 264.2, which provides for liability, up to criminal liability, for the violation of traffic regulations by a person subject to administrative and private sanction of the right to drive vehicles.
Every ninth traffic accident associated with exiting into the oncoming lane of traffic was committed by persons deprived of the right to drive a car or who did not have such a right at all. In 2020, the number of deaths in this type of accident increased by almost 1.5 thousand people compared to the previous year. It was necessary to strengthen the liability measures for non-execution of a court order depriving the right to drive.
As a possible additional penalty for persistent offenders brought to criminal liability, provision is made for the possibility of vehicle forfeiture based on a guilty verdict.
During 5 months of 2023, employees of the State Traffic Inspectorate revealed 807 driving incidents of people deprived of the right to drive, subject to administrative sanction or with a criminal record.
The State Duma has rejected a number of projects that have lain dormant for a long time. In particular, the bail for a stopped car, the punishment for “dangerous driving”, as well as the punishment for recidivism. What methods does the state traffic inspection have to counter these offenders? And the department plans to “revive” these projects? The question of the responsibility of drivers who regularly violate traffic rules, but also pay fines for violations, remains relevant. They create a real danger on the road, but how do you discipline them?
Mikhail Chernikov: The provisions of the bills you mentioned are reflected in the drafts of the new Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses and the Procedural Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses being developed by the Russian Ministry of Justice. There is the experience of a number of countries where increased liability is applied to drivers who systematically break traffic rules. This disciplines and, as a result, helps reduce accidents on the roads. It is precisely such an approach that is contained in the provisions of the draft of the new Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses, which is currently being developed. It is possible to solve the problem of tightening measures of administrative influence on drivers who systematically violate the rules by adopting this code.
Mikhail Yuryevich, earlier suggested refusing to check OSAGO’s policies when registering cars. Is this question still relevant? Clarify please. How are things going with the verification of OSAGO policies on the roads with the help of complexes for photo and video recording of traffic violations?
Mikhail Chernikov: At the initiative of the Bank of Russia, a working group has been created to deal with the problems of repair by special technical means of non-compliance of road users with their obligation to insure the civil liability of the vehicle owner. Issues of a regulatory nature and interdepartmental information interaction are being resolved.
If it is possible to fix these violations by special technical means, then the presentation of the OSAGO policy when registering the vehicle will be redundant.
Are there any results of an experiment with checking driver’s licenses and CTC on the roads using a mobile application? How does it work?
Mikhail Chernikov – an electronic service developed by the Ministry of Digital Development of Russia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for submitting information from a driver’s license and a vehicle registration certificate using the mobile application of the Unified Portal of State and Municipal Services ” Gosuslugi”. Avto” was tested. According to the Ministry of Digital Development, more than 4.5 million people have downloaded the application and are actively using it. Currently, work is underway to agree on a draft decree of the government of the Russian Federation “On the Amendments to the Road Rules of the Russian Federation”, which will expand the possibilities for citizens to certify the right to drive a vehicle. After the adoption of this resolution and its entry into force, motorists will be able to present their driver’s licenses and certificates vehicle registration for verification not only on paper, but also in electronic format.
Mikhail Yuryevich, thank you for answering in detail the questions that are important to all of us road users. Rossiyskaya Gazeta congratulates you and all the employees of the state traffic inspectorate on your professional holiday!
Mikhail Chernikov: Thank you! Guaranteeing road safety is our job. The State Traffic Inspectorate is today a mobile police service, technically equipped, capable of successfully solving the tasks set to ensure road safety. Currently there are almost 81.5 thousand people in the ranks of the Russian state traffic inspectorate, of which more than 56 thousand are in the traffic patrol service. In winter and summer, without rest or holidays, they ensure the safety of citizens on the country’s roads. And for this work to be more successful, the solidarity support of the entire society is necessary in terms of the strict observance of the Traffic Rules. We have this support and we are sure of it.
The material was prepared as part of the implementation of the federal project “Road Safety” of the national project “Quality Safe Roads”