95 PEOPLE DIE EVERY DAY ON RUSSIA'S ROADS

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MOSCOW, April 10 (RIA Novosti) - Each day, an average of 95 people die on Russia's highways as a result of road accidents. This was said at an all-Russian public conference on road traffic safety by head of the Department for road traffic safety Viktor Kiryanov.

Kiryanov cited statistical data, according to which over 34,000 people died in more than 208,000 road accidents in Russia last year.

He noted that the number of accidents had grown by 2%, and with the statistical reduction of the death toll, the number of those wounded had grown by almost 13%.

"In other words, each day there happen 570 road accidents on the country's highways, as a result of which 95 people, including 4 children, die, and some 700 get different physical injuries," said Kiryanov.

In his words, for the last 10 years, road accidents killed some 315,000 people, leaving some 2 million wounded.

"Road accidents inflict a huge damage worth some 2.5% of the GDP on Russia's economy," said Kiryanov.

The department head said the existing system of state and public influence on road accident participants had become ineffective, and the condition of roads did not correspond to the growing number of vehicles.

Kiryanov said the auto park growth rates twice exceeded the rates of the street and highway network development growth. The highway network is only 85% equipped with road signs and some 80% of traffic lights on the country's roads had already been used for a period exceeding their service life. Illumination of roads does not correspond to the required level either.

The scale of road accident traumatism in Russia directly threatens the country's national security, Alexander Chekalin, first deputy of the Interior Minister, said at the conference.

He believes it necessary to adopt "a big state decision" in the field of road facilities, town planning, the system of electronic road traffic management in large cities, as well as legislature and ecology.

"The negative consequences of Russia's automobilization, the lag of road conditions, traffic organization means, and driver training have become very urgent," said Chekalin.

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