After one of the worst months on record for bus crashes, Russian President Dimitri Medvedev has urged State road safety officials to restore order on the country’s roads.
Russia’s mortality rate as a result of road accidents is the highest in Europe. Since the start of 2009 11,000 people have died nationwide, costing the economy €125 bn. At a Security Council meeting the president said: “According to the results of a study undertaken by the presidential administrative office practically no single institution is taking responsibility for traffic regulation within our cities or on the link roads and furthermore it’s in these towns and cities where two thirds of the accidents happen.” The condition of the roads is one factor – only 20 percent of regional ones are up to international safety standards – but a poor observance of drink and drive laws in another. A task force aimed at supervising tighter controls is to be brought in.