Road safety has been and remains one of the most painful topics for Ukraine. The death rate on the roads is huge - since 1991 more than 175 thousand people have died in road accidents, more than 1.2 million people have been injured. This is due to the low culture of behavior of drivers and pedestrians and, of course, imperfect legislation. Authorities tackled the problem closely: since the middle of 2020, a system for automatic recording of traffic violations and a number of other norms designed to bring order in this area have been introduced. Let’s look how effective they are.
Cameras for photographing traffic violations
They tried to launch the system of automatic photo and video recording of traffic violations since 2016 and even installed several cameras in Kyiv as part of a pilot project, but gaps in the laws did not allow the system to be launched. It took time to make all the necessary changes. The system started functioning on June 1, 2020. The camera records the speeding by one or another car, takes a picture of the offender's license plate, sends it to the data center of the patrol police. There, the information is examined by the police, who find all the necessary information in the registers to impose a fine. Then the fine is sent to the driver. The violation is the excess of the established speed limits by more than 20 km / h.
As 112.ua was told in the patrol police, from 06/01/2020 to 12/28/2020, the police issued 1,201,219 fines for violations recorded in the automatic mode.
"According to the data of the system, the highest recorded speed is 240 km / h. Exceeding the established speed limits by more than 50 km / h entails the imposition of a fine in the amount of 30 non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens", say the patrol police.
As of today, 45 cameras operate in Kyiv and the region, as well as 3 more - in the Lviv region: "The State Agency for Roads has purchased another 220 complexes for automatic detection of traffic violations to put them in places where road accidents are concentrated and on emergency-hazardous sections of public roads", added the patrol police.
At the same time, the Ministry of Internal Affairs claims that the number of traffic violations recorded in automatic mode has decreased by 30% over the five months of the cameras operation: "We have a persistent tendency to reduce the speed limit," says Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.
While the cameras only register speeding, but over time it will also record the passage to the redirection signal, violations of the rules of stopping and parking, violations of traffic rules and stopping on the lane for route vehicles, violations of the prohibition to enter the oncoming lane, violations traffic rules across a railway crossing, violations of the prohibition to move on sidewalks or footpaths.
Pros and cons of photographing traffic violations
Despite the obvious advantages of such a system, we all live in Ukraine and we know perfectly well that the devil is in the details.
"The effectiveness of the system for photographing traffic violations, compared to a patrol sitting with a radar in the bushes and filling their own pockets, is much higher. Reducing the human factor in this matter is a positive breakthrough, the possibility of abuse is greatly reduced. But there are also disadvantages, for example, who and how does determine the location of the cameras? They are determined by local officials in agreement with the police. And here the very human factor is already interfering," says lawyer Maxym Borisov.
According to him, this practice is imperfect: “What do people who determine the places of installation of cameras do? They take a place, for example, the bottom of a hillock, unreasonably reduce the speed there from 110 to 50 km / h and thus catch violators. The effectiveness of such activity is zero. Fines are received by people who, in fact, did not violate anything, they were driving at their normal speed for this type of road, and they were forced to exceed the speed. They become violators because someone dreamed of putting a camera there," says Borisov.
According to him, the legislative framework for bringing to justice persons who have committed an offense is also imperfect.
“The person who sits behind the wheel should be responsible. Fines come to the owner, the owner of the car. This is wrong, the person who violated, and not the owner, should be responsible. One person cannot be held responsible for the commission of an offense by another person. For example, in Germany, in case of objection, an examination establishes who was driving," the lawyer notes.
A separate issue is the use of funds received in the form of fines. As noted earlier, the State Agency for Highways purchases cameras, and road owners and local governments are introducing automatic detection systems.
"I could not find information about where the money is going. I would like it to be more open than the abstract formulation" money to the treasury. "After all, it is likely that some of this money received from the payment of fines goes to private structures who take these funds for the installation and maintenance of cameras, "says Maxym Borisov.
At the end of 2020, changes to the traffic rules also came into force, which should make the road a little safer for all road users.
All passengers in a taxi must be wearing their seatbelt, pedestrians must move along roads and highways in the dark in clothes with reflective elements, and license plates must be clean and free of unnecessary elements. It would seem, what is wrong here?
According to the data of the patrol police, in Ukraine for 11 months of 2020, more than 344 thousand decisions were issued on the imposition of fines for violating the rules for using seat belts, and 176 thousand fines were received by pedestrians for crossing in the wrong place and failing to comply with other traffic rules.
"We inform you that a separate record of the decisions made for violation of the rules for wearing reflective elements by pedestrians and the use of seat belts by passengers is not kept," the patrol police said.
“We have a large number of “dead norms”, including the passage of a pedestrian to a prohibiting traffic light, a pedestrian crossing a street in the wrong place, no one monitors that pedestrians comply with the rules, that is, the culture of pedestrians is leveled in our country. Natural selection operates, "the lawyer comments.
All innovations and initiatives are undoubtedly necessary. In their spirit, they really are designed to guarantee the safety of citizens and reduce road deaths. But the execution, and sometimes the very letter of the law does not always correspond to the declared high ideals. There is work to do.