Armenia: citizens will be able to report road-hogs and reckless drivers
The National Assembly of Armenia has passed a bill on the filming of traffic violations: now, any witness of a traffic violation can make a video and send it to the police through an application on their mobile phone.
However, this innovation Has caused an ambiguous reaction, first in parliament, and then amongst the general public.
Some were outraged by the fact that the law calls for “snitching.”
The authors of the bill are ruling bloc My Step MPs Sisak Gabrielyan and Armen Pambukhchyan.
83 deputies voted for the adoption of amendments to the law with a particularly long title “On the peculiarities of administrative proceedings on cases of violations of traffic rules detected by video cameras or photographic devices” – 24 opposed and only three abstained.
Opposition members from the Prosperous Armenia faction voted against the bill. They believe the adoption of the law will encourage a culture of ‘snitching.’
The authors of the bill do not agree with this opinion. They believe that citizens are obliged to report violations. Moreover, anonymous complaints will not be considered. Senders of videos will need to provide their names.
Moreover, the government will set a limit on the maximum monthly and annual number of electronic messages that the same person can send.
As the co-author of the project Sisak Gabrielyan previously reported, it will likely not be possible for one person to send more than one such message per month, and no more than 10 per year.
Citizens can complain about violators of traffic rules now as well – but soon a special application will be launched, where it will be possible to send photos and videos from mobile phones without delay.
Initially, the platform will operate in trial mode only in Yerevan and on interstate routes, and then throughout Armenia.
The idea was floated even before the Velvet Revolution fo 2018, when the police intended to use mobile video recorders, but after public protest, the project was abandoned.
According to the statistics committee of Armenia, in 2019, in the period January-August, 2,950 traffic accidents were registered in Armenia.
As a result of the accidents, 219 people were killed and 4,253 were injured.
Compared to the same period last year, the number of road accidents increased by 17.8%.
Social media reaction
Armenian Facebook writers have avidly been writing about the implementation of the project.
Some users are outraged that the country is introducing the possibility of electronic ‘snitching’, while others have thanked the authors of the bill.
Here are some typical comments:
“And how are we to understand this? Now will we Be informing on each other? ”
“Only the roads lacked informers…”
“It will be a big help. Very often, accidents kill people. Maybe this application will help [put an end to that]”
“I will send videos in certain cases. If I consider what I see a gross violation – I will send the video. Let the appropriate structures do this – traffic police, for example.”
“Definitely a good idea!”
“A very correct decision! This system also works in the USA. The control by the citizens will ultimately lead to the fact that people in Armenia will begin driving according to the rules! ”