The World Health Organization ranks road traffic crashes as the ninth leading cause of death in all age groups worldwide. This is a serious social problem, which, like the health problem, has a significant impact on the country's economy. The consequences of road traffic accidents were discussed on the air of the “Explanatory Conversation” program.
The guest of the program, the founder of the Institute of Road Traffic Safety, Ph.D. in Economics, Mikhail Berlin, emphasized that road accidents hinder economic development, place a burden on health, insurance and the judicial system, as well as on households that do not have sufficient financial resources or appropriate protection.
“Although there are too many accidents and they cause huge damage to society, it is important to note that they are not inevitable, since the vast majority of them can be prevented if you take targeted action,” Mikhail Berlin is sure.
Discussion of the situation on the roads made it possible to identify problematic aspects in the state administration of Ukraine. So, Alexey Tolkachev noted that it was a discovery for him that the Ministry of Internal Affairs underestimates the number of people who die in road accidents. “If a person has died already in an ambulance or in a hospital, the statistics do not count him… If we consider that the level of motorization is two times lower than in Europe and divide the number of cars by the number of deaths, then we have astronomical figures.”
The next aspect that testifies to the gaps in government policy is the high infant mortality rate on the roads of Ukraine. If every year 6,000 people lose their lives on the roads, and about 40,000 are injured, accidents with children are approaching 1,500, which generally indicates catastrophic losses of the civilian population.
Expert Berlin spoke about more than a ten-year period of public activity to identify the factors of frequent road accidents in Ukraine and the study of world experience: “On our initiative, a decision was made about events dedicated to the Safety Week. It is important that we managed to introduce a clause in the legislation on the methodology for assessing economic losses due to the death and injury of people. This is an important indicator that reflects the degree of social risk. Many decisions, from investment to construction, must take into account the value of human life. "
Also in the context of road safety, it is important to consider a number of factors, from prehospital care to rehabilitation. Regarding the importance of preventive measures, the expert noted: “The multifactorial nature of the causes of road accidents and the complexity inherent in the road system emphasize the need for a systematic approach to solving the problem of road safety. Preventive action and risk minimization at each stage are at the heart of the road safety strategy and at the heart of the Global Plan for the next decade. ”
As a result, Alexey Tolkachev and Mikhail Berlin came to the conclusion about the need for an integrated approach to solving the problem. For example, when the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine accentuates how much money has been collected on auto-fix cameras, this is a shift in the focus of the problem. Since video cameras on the roads are a local solution, which should not replace the main goal, namely, to reduce mortality and save lives.