Public Safety Concept to be developed by Ministry of Internal Affairs

At the Government session, chaired by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, Minister of Internal Affairs Marat Akhmetzhanov reported on how road safety is ensured in Kazakhstan.

Over 13 thousand traffic accidents occur annually in Kazakhstan. More than 2 thousand people die and over 18 thousand are injured on the roads of the country. At the same time, according to him, over the past four years there is a dynamics of reducing the number of accidents. But taking into account the last 2 pandemic years, when people were living under restrictions, the current situation has deteriorated somewhat. So, since the beginning of this year all indicators of accidents have increased:

  • car accidents by 14%;
  • fatalities by 18%;
  • Injured by 13%.

The high level of accidents continues in Almaty city, Almaty, Zhambyl and Turkestan regions. These regions account for 56% of all accidents in Kazakhstan, with 55% of injuries and 41% of fatalities.

"One of the main causes of accidents is poor transport discipline," the Minister of Internal Affairs said.

Since the beginning of the year, police officers have suppressed more than 4.5m traffic violations. Over 17.5 thousand drunk drivers were detained, 20 thousand drivers were deprived of their driving license, 16 thousand people were subjected to administrative arrest and over 188 thousand pedestrians were fined.

"This state of affairs is largely due to the reduction of requirements for driving schools and the quality of training of drivers. Now training is provided by 747 training centers. They do not require licenses and permits to open from 2018. In 2020 the state control over their activities is terminated. The administrative responsibility for substandard training has been eliminated. This has led to the fact that the educational process is often conducted formally," Marat Akhmetzhanov explained.

Many schools lack the necessary material base. And as the analysis shows in the total number of drivers who are guilty of fatal accidents 50% account for "self-taught".

The second reason, according to the Minister of Internal Affairs, is the growth of the country's vehicle fleet. So, from 2019 to date, the number of vehicles has increased from 3.9 million to 5 million, including vehicles with foreign registration.

It is impossible not to mention the fact that the vehicle fleet is aging. The service life of more than 50% of cars in the country exceeds 20 years. Accordingly, it leads to their wear and tear.

Against this background, the proper control over the technical condition of vehicles is not provided. After the requirements for opening technical inspection centers were reduced, the practice of issuing fictitious inspection tickets spread. The anti-corruption agency liquidated a crime ring that sold 350,000 such documents totaling 600m tenge.

"Over the past four years, the number of vehicles that have not passed technical inspection on the technical condition decreased by half. This raises a lot of doubts. Police for the supervision of road traffic prosecuted 106 thousand drivers for driving vehicles that do not meet the requirements of technical regulations. In addition, 80 thousand drivers were fined for failure to pass technical inspection," the Minister said.

Given these facts the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development is offered to strengthen responsibility of operators of technical inspection stations for fictitious checks of vehicles.

Another important factor influencing the accident rate is the state of the roads and road infrastructure. According to statistics, 75% of accidents occur in populated areas, 28% of fatalities due to collisions with pedestrians. In general, the largest share of accidents with pedestrians is in the cities of Astana, Almaty and Shymkent, as well as Almaty, Zhambyl, Turkestan and Mangystau regions.

This is largely due to a lack of sidewalks, crosswalks, and lighting. For example, on September 19, in the village of Zhanalyk, Talgar district of Almaty region in the evening at a crosswalk was fatally struck by a ten-year-old child. And this is not the first case in this rural district.

Given these factors, more than 1.2 thousand traffic lights at intersections, 1.6 thousand "countdown" displays, 25 thousand road signs, 1.1 million kilometers of road markings should be installed.

Today there are 17,041 automatic cameras for fixing traffic rules violations in the republic as a whole. They have proven their effectiveness in improving driving discipline. They capture 50% of all traffic violations, in Astana and Shymkent this figure is about 70%. However, on a national scale, their number is extremely insufficient. For example, in the North Kazakhstan region there are only 43 cameras. They do not exceed 100 units in Pavlodar (58), Kyzylorda, Mangystau, Akmola, West Kazakhstan and Turkestan regions.

Then, Marat Akhmetzhanov said in his report that every year the police suppresses more than 4 million traffic violations. According to him, the most dangerous are malicious violators. About 71 thousand of them violated traffic rules from 6 to 150 times.

Now the program "Korgau" is used in six cities. It allows identifying vehicles with false numbers, without insurance, wanted or systematically violating traffic rules and not paying fines. Previously, this required stopping all cars and checking documents.

Now, the system analyzes data from street cameras and sends a message to the nearest policeman's tablet, informing him that there is a "dangerous" driver. Thus, the police immediately react to blatant violation of traffic rules. With its help 604 cases of false license plates have already been identified, 1,600 drivers were found deprived of driving license, 2,400 license plates were seized and 8,000 cars were impounded," the Minister of Internal Affairs said.

In this regard, regional akims are invited to accelerate the introduction of the necessary systems in all major settlements. This will improve the culture of road traffic and ensure the principle of inevitability of punishment.

Among other things, it requires a solution to the issue of equipping specialized parking lots. Today, a number of administrative offenses provide for the seizure of vehicles. However, in the regions there are not enough penalty parking lots. The two communal parking lots available in the capital are overcrowded. There is also one such parking in Aktobe and Atyrau regions, and there is no such parking in Karaganda at all. Thus, vehicles seized and evacuated from accident sites are stored in the territories of police departments.

Suburban highways are another important point in the issue of safety that requires attention. Thus, the main number of serious accidents is on the country roads, 69% of all the deaths in them.

This index is even higher in Zhambyl, North Kazakhstan, Zhetysu, Almaty, Atyrau, Akmola, Turkestan, Pavlodar and Kyzylorda regions. Critical situation on the road sections of "Western Europe - Western China", "Almaty - Tashkent" in Zhambyl region, "Uralsk - Atyrau" in West Kazakhstan and Atyrau regions. These sections account for 64% of the total number of deaths in accidents. The main reasons are driving into the oncoming traffic lane and speeding. For example, 21 people died in traffic accidents on the road section of Almaty - Yekaterinburg from 491 km to 1004 km during the summer period.

Another cause of accidents - it is the parameters of the roads. Now the roads with 4 or more lanes are 3,000 kilometers long. This is only 2% nationwide.

"Most of the roads are built according to the old state standards. They are two-lane, the width does not exceed 7 meters. Akims should pay attention to the roads of local importance. It is necessary to ensure the transfer of more than 6,000 km of roads from the second and third category to the first," Akhmetzhanov said.

Roadside infrastructure influences safety of out-of-town routes. In view of its underdevelopment, absence of camping sites, resting places and catering facilities, drivers are forced to drive virtually without sleep and rest.

One more problem, which was sounded by the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is illegal road carriers. They often travel non-stop between regions, violating the rules of passenger transportation. The cars they use do not meet the safety requirements.

"Since the beginning of the year, 800 cases of overturning vehicles were registered, 1,195 as a result of passing and 1,250 head-on collisions. The main reason is sleeping at the wheel," Akhmetzhanov described the terrible statistics.

To eliminate this problem the Ministry of Internal Affairs offers to organize appropriate work.

An important problem is stray cattle on the roads. Since the beginning of the year, the number of accidents involving collisions with animals has increased by 13%. Twenty-six drivers and passengers were killed and 135 were injured. Thus, only in Mangystau region there were 8 accidents involving collisions of cars with camels. Five people were killed and 13 were injured.  During the processing of these accidents, police officers identified more than 200 stray camels and horses, which were subsequently placed in special enclosures. In this regard, it is proposed to toughen the responsibility of livestock owners for uncontrolled grazing. In addition, enclosures for stray cattle are needed, as well as the arrangement of road barriers.

"Regarding speed limits, 106 cameras are now installed on toll roads. Only 6 of them record the speed limit. This is extremely low. An effective lever to control the speed of traffic is not used here," Akhmetzhanov added.

An effective solution to reduce accidents is the use of patrol cars with automatic radars and cameras. Currently, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has only 60 such vehicles in its fleet. At the same time, the Akimats of Aktobe, Almaty, Atyrau, East Kazakhstan, Kyzylorda, North Kazakhstan, and Zhetysu regions have not purchased such units.

"Now the Ministry of Internal Affairs has begun to develop a Concept of security in partnership with society. This document will enshrine the boundaries of responsibility of all authorized bodies," the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan reported in conclusion.

Stay updated about the events of the Prime Minister and the Government of Kazakhstan - subscribe to the official Telegram channel