Catastrophic increase in road accident rates in Abkhazia, a problem that, among other things, is related to the community’s mindset.
High rate of road accidents has become one of the major problems for Abkhazia. 66 people were killed in road accidents within 10 months in 2016, which is a catastrophic figure for a small republic.
Social media users name two key reasons for such a disastrous growth: an insolent road behavior of high-rank officials or their children and a mindset: non-compliance with the traffic rules is a matter of pride for the Abkhazian drivers.
Last week’s statistics:
- A young couple and a 7-month old baby were killed and one more woman was taken to hospital and is reported to be still in critical condition, as a result of a two-car crash in Sukhum center, on Sunday, October 23. On the same day, in another part of the city, a driver crashed into a lamp post.
- Three more accidents were reported the next day, on Monday. One accident occurred on the road to Miussera sanatorium, another one – in Eshba street, in Sukhum, and one more –on Ingur-Psou highway, in the vicinity of Kyndyg village. One person died and several people were injured.
- There were 5 more road accidents in Abkhazia during the ensuing 4 days.
“It’s safe to say that we are obviously facing a full-blown systemic crisis…the death toll is comparable to the battle loss reports…In my opinion, we have reached a point, where we have to make a choice: either we live like a state, or we note that we stick to the social order of the medieval times, with possible indulgencies for a right to kill on roads, tribal staff recruitment, corruption, feudal fragmentation and civil strife,” Ibragim Chkadua, a journalist, wrote on Facebook.
The President of Abkhazia, Raul Khajimba, convened an emergency meeting, during which he stated that ‘tough measures will be taken in respect of any public official or executive in case of violation of traffic rules by him/her or his /her children.’
In particular, as he pointed out, an executive will be immediately dismissed even if a road accident has occurred through his/her son’s fault.
Khajimba pledged that each case would be subject to a transparent investigation and the names of the guilty would be publicizes through mass media.
‘There will be no mercy’, the President warned.
A few months ago, Abkhazia started testing the traffic enforcement camera system to detect traffic regulation violations, and the authorities promise to put the system into full-fledged operation starting from 2017.
A public movement has been also set up to influence the local drivers’ mindset. They have produced special stickers featuring the following slogans: ‘Don’t kill. Live yourself‘; ‘Slow down’, which are distributed among the car owners.
Meanwhile, Anton Krivenyuk, a journalist, believes that the visual materials, published by the militia through mass media, as well as activism and social ads, are useless. In his opinion, the problem lies in the fact that most of those, who cause road accidents, are the people born in the 90s.
“The investigation materials prove that three-fourth of road killers and suiciders are the people, who were born in 1992-1995…We’ve got a lost generation. The majority of children, born at that time, are the victims of decline and the community’s cultural recession. They don’t have any values. They are just able to formulate toast vocabulary. Those people are uneducated and often ill-mannered. They are illiterate and don’t properly know any of the languages, and they don’t live in the same social space with us. They don’t actually live at all. They’re going to die. We don’t know, how each of them will do it,” says Krivenyuk.
The opinions expressed in the article convey the author’s terminology and views and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial staff.