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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

The Peculiarities of Road Safety Practices in Russian Cities

P. 235-257.

International road safety priorities are defined by the slogan “towards zero”, which describes the aim to reduce the road mortality rates to a zero. The Russian Federation (along with China, India, and Brazil) is one of the «Risky States–10», which are the 10 countries with the high level of road fatalities and where more than half of the world traffic-related deaths occur. Even though the level of the transport risk has fallen over a decade (2005–2015) from 11.13 to 4.3, Russia still hasn’t reached the mark 3, which had been the target for the developed countries in the middle of the 20th century. If the mortality rate in Russia was as low as it is in the UK, Sweden or Netherlands, the number of road deaths per year would be about 3.5–4 thousand instead of 27 thousand. Motorization rates in Russian cities are essentially higher than country average. That’s why cities have much more road accidents and higher mortality rates. The situation is aggravated by the widespread practice of the combination of the road and street functions in the one technical object, which is aimed to let through the large volumes of traffic and is traced along the usual urban street. This leads to the larger amount of accidents with pedestrians due to the insufficiency and inconvenience of the underpasses and overpasses. The problem of the road safety receives much attention: the official meetings involving the first persons of the state are held regularly; world best practices in road safety are surveyed; fines for the traffic regulations violation are getting higher; the concepts of “value of life” and “aggressive driving” are introduced; quick response emergency systems are implemented. Some measures are taken to prioritize the pedestrians: pedestrian streets, zones of restricted access and speed limits within the urban territory are created. Still the crucial changes in the levels of road safety can’t be seen yet. The chapter provides a comparison of the main engineering tools and methods as well as institutional conditions for ensuring road safety in urban areas in Russia and in a number of developed regions of the world. Some recommendations for achieving further progress towards a civilized level of road safety in Russia are made.