Ukraine Cuts Traffic Violations By Upping Fines
KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's new programme of drastically higher traffic fines has cut road violations substantially and piled cash into government coffers, officials said Tuesday.
Road violations of all types were down some 64 per cent, according to a statement from Ukraine's DAI traffic police made public 24 hours after the new penalty system came into effect.
Ukraine's legislature in October approved laws upping fines for traffic violations from an average 5 - 15 dollars, to an average 40 to 80 dollars.
Traffic injuries and fatalities were down by a third, Korrespondent newspaper reported.
Nationwide on Monday, road police said more than 7,800 drivers had netted the state over 250,000 dollars in fines, the Interfax news agency reported.
Though low by European standards, Ukraine's new traffic fine system is in local terms a substantial change, and will hit most drivers hard in the pocket. The average monthly salary in Ukraine is some 300 dollars.
Ukraine's roads historically have been poorly-regulated by a traffic police widely considered corrupt. Ukraine has one of Europe's worst road death rates, because of drivers' unwillingness to obey speed limits, traffic signs or seatbelt rules.
Ukraine's traffic police command appealed to motorists not to pass bribes to traffic cops shortly before the new fine system went into effect.
Reduced accident and injury rates aside, the new fine system has resulted in a 50 per cent increase in the price of a bribe, Sehodnia newspaper reported.