The annual All-Ukraine Road Safety Week started in Ukraine on November 9. Ukrinform news agency hosted a press conference on this occasion, which was attended by representatives of the International Charitable Foundation “Assistance to Victims of Road Accidents” and state authorities in charge of transport and road safety ‒ Ministry of Infrastructure, the State Service of Ukraine for safety in transport, Motor Transport Insurance Bureau, Ministry of Health.
According to Yuriy Chorny, President of the International Charitable Foundation “Assistance to Victims of Road Accidents”, the Foundation, as the main and permanent co-organizer of the Road Safety Weeks in Ukraine, emphasizes the need to consolidate the efforts of all governmental and non-governmental organizations to increase road safety and also personal responsibility for the safety of all road users.
“We want to draw public attention to such important issues as road safety and road behavior for everyone. Unfortunately, we have very sad statistics. According to the latest data, this year there were almost 118 thousand accidents, more than 20 thousand people were injured and about 3 thousand people died in accidents. The World Bank estimates that Ukraine loses about $ 5 billion in gross domestic revenue each year from road accidents,” he said.
According to the participants of the event, currently there is no reason to talk about a significant improvement in the situation on Ukrainian roads. Volodymyr Shevchenko, General Director of the Motor (Transport) Insurance Bureau of Ukraine, noted that solving the problems of road accidents and reducing their painful consequences is possible only if we work systematically with all the factors that affect the accident. It is necessary to form and stably implement comprehensive measures that will cover the condition of roads, equipping them with means to reduce accidents, modern technological control over compliance with traffic rules, as well as through explanatory measures among road users.
He reported that the Bureau, as the main body that takes on the lever of financial consequences of road accidents, is paying compensation to victims. Together with the insurers of OSTPV last year, they paid more than 2.7 billion from guarantee funds. “Our contribution to the fight against the consequences of road accidents is a stable increase in the reliability and convenience of insurance indemnity mechanisms. Over the past five years, the term of payments has more than halved, the use of such a convenient way of registering an accident without calling the police as the European protocol has tripled, and voluntary direct settlement of insurance events has been introduced,” Shevchenko said.
Anton Shchelkunov, a representative of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and Director General of the Transport Safety Directorate, also shared some achievements in improving road safety. He reminded that this year a system of automatic photo and video recording of traffic violations was launched together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, as well as at the final stage of implementation of automatic dimensional and weight control system for weighing large vehicles, which will also improve the road situation. The SES service has been supplemented with emergency transport, which will significantly reduce the time to arrive at the scene of the accident and save the lives and health of the victims.
He reminded that today the country already has a new Strategy for improving road safety until 2024, recently approved by the Government. This is a strategic document for the next time, which we will focus on in our work. Its ambitious goal is to bring national road safety indicators closer to the European average and to improve the condition of the road network and road infrastructure. The development and approval of the Action Plan for this Strategy, as well as the State Program for Improving Road Safety for the next term, is currently underway.
Deputy Head of the State Service of Ukraine for Transport Safety Mykita Lagunin informed that in order to reduce accidents and increase traffic safety in Ukraine, the State Service constantly carries out scheduled and unscheduled inspections of licensees providing services for transportation of passengers and dangerous goods, conducts preventive work among drivers. Over the past year, more than 332 technical investigations of accidents on road and urban electric transport have been carried out. Currently, the system of conducting these investigations is being improved, innovative technologies are being introduced.
The participants of the conference concluded that the Road Safety Weeks are one of those platforms designed to remind public authorities to improve the quality and safety of roads, and all road users to strictly adhere to traffic rules, improve driving culture and behavior on the road.
Yuriy Chorny announced that within the framework of the All-Ukraine Road Safety Week (November 9-15) a number of events will take place across the country with the participation of representatives of state authorities, scientific institutions, public organizations and business structures. Due to the epidemic situation in the country, most of them will take place remotely, in the format of online broadcasts.
Yu. Chorny emphasized that the ICF “Assistance to Victims of Road Accident” is the initiator and coordinator of many events of the Week. For several years in a row, it has been implementing a number of social projects aimed at overcoming and preventing road traffic injuries in the country. Last year, we initiated the implementation of the national project “Safe Country” in Ukraine, which promotes a number of comprehensive standards of safe behavior in society, both on the road and in emergencies, and to maintain a healthy environment, the development of environmentally friendly transport, we counteract children’s injuries on the roads and bullying in schools,” he said.
As an example, he presented one of the latest activities of the project, aimed at raising awareness of safety rules among children and young people – SAFETY WEEKEND. “This is an educational and entertaining event, which we hold in cooperation with patrol and juvenile police, SES, environmental services, etc., especially with children and youth. We teach the rules of conduct both on the road and in other situations, the skills of assistance. We held the first such training event in Kryvyi Rih, and now we are waiting for the quarantine to end in order to continue plying the country,” Yuriy Chornyi said.
The All-Ukraine Road Safety Week in Ukraine is held twice a year as part of the Decade of Road Safety 2011-2020, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly resolution in 2010 and to improve road safety in Ukraine. The week is held with the assistance of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Transport and Infrastructure, the Government of Ukraine, and local self-government bodies.
The co-organizers of the events are the International Charitable Foundation “Assistance to Victims of Road Accidents” together with the State Enterprise “Ukrainian Research Institute of Transport Medicine” of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine (Kyiv Interregional Branch) and the Motor (Transport) Insurance Bureau of Ukraine. The Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Education and Science, the State Service for Transport Safety, the National Police and other state and non-state bodies are involved as partners.
Every year, more than 20 million citizens across the country join the Week.