#20 - JRL 7040
Drink-driving rampant in some parts of Russia - traffic police
Source: Channel One TV, Moscow, in Russian 0900 gmt 29 Jan 03
[Presenter] Police in Krasnodar have started to use a novel ploy against traffic offenders. Fake patrol guards have been stationed on some of the city's busy roads. From a distance, and especially at night, they seem like the real thing. According to the traffic police, this forces even the worst reckless driver to obey the rules.
Our correspondent Ilya Filippov reports:
[Correspondent] As every year goes by there are more and more accidents on Russian roads and more and more people suffer. This is what the traffic police's statistics tell us...
The traditional reasons for accidents - drink-driving, driving without a licence and reckless driving - are now joined by new problems: inadequate teaching in driving schools, excessively lenient punishment for traffic violations and the terrible state of the roads.
According to the traffic police, the leader in the traffic accident stakes last year was Moscow Region. One of the most treacherous factors in these tragedies is alcohol.
[Vladimir Timoshin, acting head of the Russian traffic police] A total of 22,575 accidents, practically 10 per cent, happened because of a violation of traffic regulations by drivers in a state of intoxication. There are regions in Russia where drink-driving is simply rampant...
[Correspondent] The traffic police have decided to take action. For example, to propose changes to the code of administrative offences and improve the training of traffic inspectors. In future, it is expected that they will all have higher education. They also want to get driving schools to provide the correct instruction...