On September 27 and 28, St. Petersburg hosted the IV International Congress of ‘Road Safety for the Safety of Life: Children on the Road’, organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS Member States and the Council of Federation. The congress was attended by about 1200 people representing the authorities of Russia and CIS countries, more than 90 private and public organizations and the media.
According to the statistics provided by the report of the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, V. Kiryanov, over the period of 7 months in 2012, 5320 children were injured and 284 children died in traffic accidents in the region. In 524 road accidents, children were injured because they were not properly seated and strapped in child car seats. The Deputy Minister noted in his report that there needs to be a change in the attitudes of drivers and passengers towards increasing the safety of children in cars – and this must be achieved through the united of efforts of government agencies, law enforcement agencies and community organizations.
In fact, almost all the speeches of the Russian and CIS countries’ representatives called for civil society organizations to intensify their actions in the field of road safety. Valentina Matviyenko, the chairman of the Federation Council of Russia, highlighted in her opening speech that “in the prevention of child road traffic injuries, we [government of the RF] need to rely on the institutions of civil society, NGOs and actively involve them in our work”.
The Global Road Safety Partnership and the Russian Red Cross were both active participants in the Congress, with the Russian Red Cross taking the opportunity to announce the beginning of its programme on road safety.
The declarations of the congress put in place strong measures for increasing the cooperation between state authorities, law enforcement agencies and public institutions in the field of advocacy for activities aimed at supporting road safety.