MOSCOW, October 6 (Itar-Tass) — Russian road police chief Viktor Nilov believes that the proposal to let drivers turn right on a red light must be scrutinized while giving priority to safety, not economy.
"One-fifth of all accidents happen at crossroads," Nilov said calling them "the places that amass problems." "If we consider throughput capacity only, road safety will be severely compromised. Let us take two elements into consideration. Their comparison allows for an objective evaluation," Nilov told reporters.
There are other options to increase the throughput capacity of Russian roads, he added.
"At present, the road accidents situation is far from ideal, so I hate to risk human lives. The main thing is that it will cause chaos," the road police chief went on to say.
He explained that the permission to turn right on a red light might result in confusion, as some drivers might interpret the rule the wrong way.
More than 80 percent of Russians polled by the Moscow center for combating traffic jams, called for permitting the right turn on a red light. Some 8,000 people took part in the voting, head of the center Alexander Shumsky told reporters on Thursday.
In August, Shumsky asked Putin to amend the traffic rules, by letting drivers make right turns on a red light. Putin ordered road police to examine the proposal by November.
Shumsky believes the measure will help cut traffic jams by 15 percent and save some 10 percent of petrol for drivers.
"Of 8,000 visitors to the website, 83 percent supported the initiative," he said.
Shumsky reminded that at present, such a rule is effective in the USA, China, Germany, India, Pakistan and Ukraine.
"Ukraine has the same level of driving and driving culture as Russia. No additional accidents occurred (after the introduction of this norm)," he noted.
At the same time, he pointed out that traffic rules that are currently effective have more dangerous norms, such as a double left turn.
Shumsky offered the road police chief to see how effective the measure might be in an experiment to be conducted at crossroads with no pedestrian crossings.