Each year the number of cars on Kyrgyzstan’s roads are increasing, this brings an increase in road and transport related incidents. According to the official statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Kyrgyzstan, there are 2500 road traffic collisions in Bishkek every year resulting in fatalities, physical and psychological traumas, and financial damage.
EASST’s Kyrgyz partner, the Public Association “Road Safety” has conducted a survey among drivers in Bishkek looking at five key areas: reasons behind road traffic collisions; seat belt usage; speeding; pedestrian awareness; and fines and penalties. The survey was conducted among 100 drivers – including the public, taxi drivers and public transport drivers.
Top reasons for road traffic collisions:
- Absence of a basic road culture – 29%
- Lack of experience and driving skills – 27%
- Speeding – 24%
Seat belts: Only 58% drivers always wear a seat belt
When asked about their use of seat belts: the results revealed that only 58% drivers always wear a seat belt and only 45% demand that passengers travelling with them wear one. In 75 cases out of 100 the use of a seat belt can prevent a fatality on the road. In Kyrgyzstan, as with most countries across the world, national law states that seat belts must be worn by both drivers and passengers at all times.
Speeding: 49% drivers admitted to breaking the speed limit
In terms of speeding, 49% participants admitted to breaking the speed limit with 38% citing “because I often rush”. A shocking 12% drivers did not think that exceeding the speed limit was illegal! 79% of the respondents knew that in highly populated areas the speed limit should not exceed 60 km/h, and, if near schools the speed limit should be at 40 km/h. The remaining 21% named very unrealistic numbers stating 70 km/h and 120 km/h respectively.
Pedestrians: 72% drivers always obey pedestrian crossings
In Kyrgyzstan around 300-400 pedestrians die on the roads each year with 3000 people being injured. The survey therefore also asked drivers their perceptions on road safety rules with regards to pedestrians. 72% answered that they always let the pedestrians cross the road in designated places. However, 16% drivers admitted to not being vigilant in pedestrian areas.
Driving instruction: Two thirds drivers believe that most people obtain their driving licences outside of driving schools
As part of this survey, drivers were asked for their perceptions on how drivers in Kyrgyzstan obtain their licences and whether they think the level of instruction in driving schools is high enough. The majority of drivers who participated in the survey believed that most people obtain their driving licences outside of driving schools, while over a third of participants rated the quality of instruction as poor or very poor.
Penalties: One third of drivers are unaware of the legal consequences for breaking the speed limit
When asked about the penalties for speeding, 37% drivers did not know or gave an incorrect answer. When asked about the legal consequences for ignoring a designated pedestrian crossing, only 27% knew the exact monetary penalty.
Below are the penalties established by the Ministry of Internal Affairs for speeding:
Fines for exceeding the set speed:
-Exceeding the speed limit for drivers- more than 10 km/h, but less than 20 km/h, the fine is 500 KGS;
-Exceeding more than 40 km/h – 2000 KGS;
(Article.232, Chapter 20 The Kyrgyz Republic Codex on administrative responsibility from–08.08.2014)
The whole text of the survey could be found on the website of the Road Safety public association:– www.db.kg
This initiative is being implemented under TRACECA ll Road Safety Project (EU): Global Alliance of Road Safety (GRSP), The Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies and EASST.