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Russia To Come Down Heavily On Drunk Driving

by VR Sreeraman on  November 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM Alcohol & Drug Abuse News   - G J E 4
In a bid to combat the "horrific" annual death toll on its roads, Russia is set to introduce tough punishments for drunk driving of up to 15 years in prison and $16,000 in fines, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday.
 Russia To Come Down Heavily On Drunk Driving
Russia To Come Down Heavily On Drunk Driving
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Medvedev said that around 28,000 people lost their lives in road accidents last year in Russia -- one of the highest tolls in the world -- even though the fatality rate has been falling in recent years.

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"The road tragedy statistics are still horrific.... None of us are without blame and we have to start with ourselves," Medvedev said in a video blog posted on the government website.

The video -- viewable at blog.da-medvedev.ru -- begins with Medvedev sweeping around the driveway of his residence at the wheel of a black jeep, conspicuously wearing a safety belt.

He said the government would put forward legislation that would introduce a minimum punishment of five years in jail and a maximum of 15 years for causing death while drunk at the wheel.

Drunk drivers who are found speeding or jumping red lights will face massive fines of 500,000 rubles ($16,000, 12,000 euros) in Moscow and Saint Petersburg and 250,000 rubles in other regions.

Medvedev's video blog -- his favored form of floating new ideas -- appears to be a response to a string of highly publicized accidents that have made the public more aware of road safety problems in Russia.

Prominent Russian actress Marina Golub was killed in a traffic accident in October while traveling in a taxi hit by a speeding car.

And in one particularly horrific incident in Moscow in September, a drunk driver rammed a bus stop at high speed and killed seven people including five orphans from a children's home.

Source: AFP
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