How do we reduce the number of people killed and injured on ukrainian roads? expert discussion of the system of penalties for the traffic code violations

August 12, 2022

On August 9, the Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law, as part of the “For Safe Roads” Campaign, held an expert discussion “A system of fines for traffic violations: What changes would help save lives on the roads?”

The discussion was attended by representatives of civil society organizations working in the field of road safety, as well as Deputy Head of the Patrol Police Department Oleksii Biloshytskyi and Acting Deputy General Director of the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health Iryna Soroka.

During the discussion, CEDEM presented an Analytical Report on penalty systems for traffic violations in Ukraine and international practice. The purpose of the report is to inform the public about the systems of penalties and the need to advocate for changes that will reduce the level of death and injury on Ukraine’s roads. The report provides an overview of the theory of penalties in the road safety system, the recommended penalty tools and also considers the actual situation with the availability of various tools in the national legal systems of Ukraine and 4 other countries.

Read the full text of the analytical report here.

The discussion participants emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach to solving the problem of high mortality and injuries on the roads. Thus, in addition to improving the system of penalties for traffic violations (in particular, when it comes to the proportionality of the penalty to the level of danger caused), they also discussed the need for awareness raising programs and the use of infrastructure solutions. 

At the same time, much attention should be paid to behavioral risk factors, because speeding remains the main cause of traffic accidents in Ukraine. According to the Patrol Police, in the first half of 2022, speeding accounted for more than 44% of the accidents. 

During the discussion, the participants also noted that the system of penalty points is one of the European practices, the introduction of which in Ukraine has great potential for improving the level of road safety.

“I would like to note that we have been working on a draft law to introduce penalty points. We definitely need them; this is an advanced practice that will form a preventive mechanism. After all, if people who think they can constantly violate the rules understand that the threat of having their driver’s license suspended hangs over them, it will have a preventive effect, and foreign countries prove it. Therefore, since we are moving along the European path, such a mechanism should be implemented in our country as well,” Oleksii Biloshytskyi emphasized.

As a result of the discussion, the experts came to the conclusion that the approach to reducing the level of injuries and deaths on the roads in Ukraine should be comprehensive. And the system of penalties for traffic violations can be improved by making the punishment proportional to the risk caused and the consequences of the offense, as well as by introducing new deterrence mechanisms, including penalty points.

Watch the video of the online discussion here

The ‘For Safe Roads’ Campaign is an advocacy campaign aimed at reducing mortality and injuries on Ukraine’s roads. It was initiated by the Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law in partnership with NGO Vision Zero, U-Cycle and brings together international, Ukrainian experts, representatives of the legislative branch and the executive branch.