On September 18, Parliament of Ukraine approved the draft law №8492 «On amendments to article 121 of Code of Ukraine on administrative offences (on reducing mortality and injuries on Ukrainian roads by increasing seat belts and motorcycle helmets use rate)» in first reading. This draft law increases penalty fare in case of misuse of seat belts and helmets from 51 to 850 hryvnias).
The draft law received positive votes from 240 MPs among 348 present. As a next step, the Parliament must approve the draft in general.
The draft law was proposed by 25 MPs, including Anton Herashchenko, Iryna Herashchenko, Viktoriya Siumar, Ihor Didenko, Ivan Krulko, Oleksandr Opanasenko, Hanna Hopko. The proposals was initiated by Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law in a framework of Campaign For Safe Roads.
In case of enactment and approval from the President this act will come into force after 3 month. This time must be used by authorities to carry out the information campaign for citizens, thus informing the legal changes as well as importance of using the seat belts.
Dramatic increasing of penalty fares is aimed on changing the drivers` behavior, thus minimizing mortality rate. Fastening the seat belts results in 50% less risk of death in road accident, stressed the authors. Every day up to 10 people dies in a car accidents while annual death toll reaches more than 3500 people. Seat belts can save up to half of potential victims.
Increasing penalties is one of the most effective ways to persuade the citizens to use seat belts – this is proved by foreign experience. For example, in France penalty fare is 135 euro, 140 euro in Nederlands and 77 euro in Czech Republic. Thus, more than 90% drivers in this countries use seat belts.
The majority of Ukrainians also prefers increaser responsibility for ignoring the seat belts. According to Ipsos poll, 66% of citizens supports this idea.