Perizat RISBEK KIZI
On February 11, under the chairmanship of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a meeting on ensuring road safety based on the principle of “Safe and Smooth Road” was held. As a result of the meeting, the existing problems in the field of road and transport safety were clearly described and certain measures – reforming the norms of legislation, transforming road infrastructure, introducing “smart” technologies into the field, etc. – were envisaged.
Existing problems in road safety
During the meeting, it was announced that in 2021 there were 10,001 road traffic accidents, which is 43% more than in 2020, and the proportion of victims as a result of such accidents increased by 40 percent, and the number of deaths increased by 24%. The meeting also listed the regions where most road traffic accidents occur and determined disciplinary measures against officials. The head of the department of internal affairs of the Namangan region, the heads of the Andijan and Samarkand regional departments of road safety were dismissed from their positions.
It is emphasized that the cause of most traffic accidents is the ignorance of the rules by drivers and their inexperience, the condition of the roads, as well as non-compliance with the rules by pedestrians.
What measures will be taken?
Revision of the penalty system for traffic violations
The Legislative Chamber and the competent departments were pointed out the need to revise and fundamentally improve the norms of legislation in the field of road traffic.
In order to ensure the inevitability of punishment, it is planned to introduce a system of penalty points for each offense. For example, if the driver exceeds the speed limit, he will receive 1 point, and if he runs through a red light – 3 points. If the sum of violations for the year exceeds 12 points, the driver will be deprived of the right to drive a car and sent to re-pass the exam.
In addition, the procedure for determining the insurance premium for compulsory insurance of drivers’ liability on the basis of penalty points will be introduced. A new type of liability will be introduced – road hooliganism – for irresponsible driving and obstruction of other road users.
Digitalization of traffic management and control
The most effective way to manage traffic flows is digitalization. In this regard, the task of digitalizing the management and control of traffic on highways will be implemented to eliminate the “human factor”. In particular, at intersections with heavy traffic, first in the regional, then in the district centers, digital traffic control will appear.
Control over the quality of education in the field of road safety
The Ministry of the Interior is entrusted with the task of monitoring the quality of education in driving schools. It was instructed to revise the requirements for such schools and examination centers, to improve the efficiency of driving training and the qualifications of teachers.
Certain measures are also being taken to reduce road accidents involving children. In particular, special classes have been organized in 380 schools of the republic on the rules of the road, and road training grounds have been organized in 167 schools. Thus, schools provide students with the necessary understanding of the rules of the road, develop children’s skills of safe behavior on the roads. Additionally:
- taking into account the experience of South Korea, it is proposed to set a maximum speed limit of 30 km/h for 300 m of the road passing by the school;
- based on the Turkish experience, it is planned to create special fleets in accordance with the rules of the road;
- gradually introduce special bus traffic to schools for the arrival and departure of students.
Reconstruction of roads in Uzbekistan
Particular importance is attached to the construction and reconstruction of public roads. Thus, recently the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a loan of $273.8 million for the reconstruction and renewal of roads in Uzbekistan. ADB funds will be used to upgrade 106 km of the Derbent-Denau road in Surkhandarya. Also, with their help, the reconstruction of 87 km of the A380 highway (Guzar-Bukhara-Nukus-Beyneu), which is part of the CAREC-2 corridor, will be completed. As part of the project, the tracks will be widened and refurbished to reduce travel times and vehicle repair costs. Also pedestrian infrastructure will be improved, including bus stops and traffic signs. It is noted that improving the quality and safety of roads will help unlock the transport potential of Uzbekistan.