Thursday, November 26, 2009

Carnage on the roads

Today it was reported that the well-known former Kyiv city mayor, now NUNS deputy, Oleksandr Omelchenko, was last night involved in a fatal driving 'accident' in his Mistubishi Pajero. He knocked down and killed a 48-year old pedestestrian.

The current Kyiv mayor, Leonid Chenovetsky, killed a pedestrian on the same road in 2003. Serious road 'accidents' involving high profile figures occur on a regular, almost weekly basis in Ukraine.

By coincidence I was looking at the World Health Organisation Global Status Report on Road Safety yesterday, comparing Ukraine's awful statistics with those of similar-sized countries in Europe.

In 2007 there were 9921 road traffic fatalities reported in Ukraine, 56% of which were pedestrians. So, over five and half thousand pedestrians were killed on the roads that year in the country.

In the United Kingdom by comparison, 2398 road deaths were reported in 2006, 21% of which were pedestrians, i.e. about 500 pedestrians were killed - 10 times less that in Ukraine, even though it has a larger population and many more vehicles on the road.

But more disturbing are the trends. In the U.K., as in most West European countries, road deaths have been declining for many years. In the last 20 years road deaths in the U.K. and other Western European countries, have halved. In Ukraine road deaths are increasing....

Many more pedestrians will be killed on the roads in Ukraine than will die from swine flu, but there's no political mileage to be gained from tackling this carnage is there?


elmer said...

Well, but it is vitally necessary and essential to get this message out and keep pounding it in - Ukraine has already lost population, and the "political elite" have no right to simply run over pedestrians like bowling balls, and kill them with their expensive cars.

This is and is not a matter of politics - the "political elite" feel free to ignore the law and to kill people. That's part of the sick politics of Ukraine.

People's lives are lost - that's not politics, that's simply killing the nation.

Anonymous said...

In the UK the wearing of seat belts is compulsory. In Ukraine they are not. The level of pedestrian is of grave concern.

If you have been on the road an an official entourage passes you buy you would soon understand that drivers feels they are a class above the rest and as such not aware of pedestrian or the lower class.

It would be interesting to get a further breakdown of the statistics showing which region and what class of car was involved.

The other factor of course is the state of rounds in Ukraine. Ukraine is much bigger and less developed then the UK.