Medvedev: Fines for most serious traffic violations in Russia may reach 500,000 rubles

Liability for especially serious violations of traffic regulations could be increased to 500,000 rubles in Moscow and St. Petersburg and to 250,000 rubles in other parts of Russia, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

Speaking on his video blog, Medvedev said these proposals should be finalized by the end of this year, although they have yet to be discussed and agreed upon.

In particular, Russia plans "to step up administrative liability of drivers for speeding, for driving through a red light, for crossing into the oncoming lane, and other most serious violations of traffic regulations," Medvedev said.

"Liability for them will be differentiated, taking into account personal specifics. For instance, for Moscow and St. Petersburg this can be up to 500,000 rubles and for other regions up to 250,000 [rubles], although this calls for more discussion and clearance," he said.

Medvedev said he had instructed government members to offer proposals on amending the relevant criminal and administrative laws.

"These amendments envision punishment for drunk driving in the form of a very significant fine and simultaneous revocation of the driving license for a longer term than is the case now, up to revoking it for life, which surely needs to be discussed yet, and also criminal liability for repeated drunk driving - that is, if someone has driven a vehicle in this condition several times," he said.

"It has been proposed that criminal liability for driving under the influence be toughened if this caused severe bodily injuries or deaths of two or more people," he said.

"First, the lower limit of imprisonment should be set at 5 years and the upper limit increased to 15 years," Medvedev said. "Agencies have also been instructed to analyze the possibility that the vehicle be temporarily confiscated to enforce administrative sanctions imposed on intoxicated drivers," he said.

"It is also important to address compensation regulations," Medvedev said. "I signed a directive a week ago, which endorses rules for calculating insurance compensations to be paid to individuals who suffered through the fault of a transportation organization," Medvedev said.

"In many instances, such insurance payments will be multiplied," Medvedev said. "This will significantly change the order that has been in effect in our country in the past twenty years. At the present time, an injured passenger is entitled to only 12,000 rubles, which is a very small sum. Starting January 1 next year, the insurance compensation sum on public transport will be increased to 2 million rubles," he said.

"A very simple procedure with coefficients stipulating how an injured individual can receive money from an insurance company is going to be introduced. Qualification requirements will also be toughened for instructors and for the quality of instruction at driving schools," he said.

"The Transportation Ministry should draw up rules for transporting children in organized groups (they already exist, but these should be stricter rules), and also modern rules for transporting passengers and cargo by automobiles," he said.

The Health Ministry should upgrade the regulations concerning the medical component in traffic safety and envisioning, inter alia, that drivers must undergo a medical examination at least once every five years, he said.

"Certainly, all these regulatory novelties and new rules should be subjected to thorough expert appraisal, including anti-corruption appraisal, before they are enacted so as not to produce unfavorable effects and eliminate possible loopholes for abuses and corrupt actions," Medvedev said.

"Relevant instructions have also been issued to the Interior Ministry, the Justice Ministry, and the Prosecutor General's Office," Medvedev said.

"The proposals of which I have said should be offered based on the outcomes of this year by the end of the year. The government has already received some of them," he said.

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