13 August 2021

A Panel of Road Safety Experts Is Planned under RHW State Company

The tasks of the Panel of Experts will be the following: roadside assistance and elimination of prerequisites for accidents and casualties on a highway network, in-depth analytical work and elaboration of effective solutions. It is planned to specify the functions and composition of the Panel in detail by September of this year. These recommendations were given following the results of "Road Safety Is Everyone's Responsibility" round-table held by Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.

The round-table was attended by Gennady Zhilin, the Deputy Chairman of the Management Board for Operations of RHW State Company, Oleg Ponaryin, the Deputy Head of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Viktor Levandovsky, the Head of the Road Safety Department of RHW State Company, Roman Kildyushkin, the Head of the Road Operations Department of the Department of State Policy in the Field of Road Facilities of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, Pyotr Shkumatov, a public figure and the Head of the ONF working group "Protection of the Rights of Motorists", Vadim Melnikov, the Director General of the Expert Center “Movement Without Danger”, and Igor Zhivopistsev, the Head of the Traffic Safety Management Department of the FAU "ROSDORNII".

At the moment, the State Company has a work program to improve road safety, which provides for the measures aimed at eliminating hazardous areas, reducing mortality rate, preventing road accidents, and preventing formation of new areas of road accidents concentration. It will also include the items proposed by the Panel on the basis of the accident rate analysis.

At present, the State Company manages 3,771 km of highways, of which more than 50 percent are toll sections (1,911 km), Gennady Zhilin recalled. At the same time, there is a decrease in the number of fatal accidents accompanied by the annual road network growth. For ten years, the specific indicator of the number of deaths per 100 km has reduced by almost 70 percent.

During his speech, Oleg Ponaryin, the Deputy Head of the Main Traffic Safety Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, has acquainted the participants of the round table with the level of accidents on Russian roads, and has noted that, as a rule, winter months are characterized by the lowest rates in terms of the number of accidents leading to injuries and deaths. The rate of road traffic injuries increases from March to June, with the peak period usually in September–October. Subsequently, according to all forecasts, the number of deaths and injuries should decrease.

"This largely depends on both the behavior of road users and weather conditions, and our task is to develop and implement the mechanisms that will minimize these bursts of accidents and the possible number of road users who die and get injured due to road accidents," Oleg Ponaryin emphasized.

Within the round-table, the important role of the media in developing attitude of all road users was emphasized.  It is the human factor that is the most important in case of an accident.

The main causes of road accidents (crashes, collisions) are fatigue, sleeping while driving, distancing non-observance and inadequacy of speed to specific traffic conditions, pedestrians on driveways or crossing in undesignated areas, driving under the influence of alcohol.

The main types of road traffic accidents include crashes (54.3%), collisions with obstacles (16.3%), collisions with parked vehicles (10.2%); the share of any other type of accidents does not exceed 10%. Cocurrent and side collisions account for the bulk of vehicle collisions (88.5%).

At the same time, analyzing the number of accidents and the number of deaths, a significant monthly increase is noted in July, as well as in the current month. The reason is the active movement of the population during the vacation period.

Attention should be paid to deadly road accidents involving collisions with parked vehicles. Most of them occurred with the participation of vehicles that made a forced stop due to a breakdown on a traffic lane or a roadside, including those associated with a previous accident without injured.

The minimum number of such accidents occur on highways and freeways in the places where it is forbidden to stop. Toll sections differ significantly in terms of safety. In addition to the high level of their equipment with technical means of traffic management, there is a service of accident managers operating on these sections to promptly provide assistance to road users and prevent accidents. In total, 84 crews are on duty around the clock on these sections. The average coverage of toll sections by one crew is up to 20 km, the number of calls is over 75,000 per year, the time of arrival to the site is up to 15 minutes.