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Road Safety Russia – The "Buckle Up!" national seat belt campaign

International Award, 2013

The “Buckle Up!” national campaign to promote seat belt use has received a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award. The campaign was a joint project of the General Department of Road Traffic Safety of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Russian Association of Motor Insurers (RAMI), and the NGO Road Safety Russia.

The award was presented to Road Safety Russia by His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, Patron of the Commission for Global Road Safety, at the 17th Annual Award Ceremony in London on 10 December.

Accepting the award, President of Road Safety Russia, Natalia Agre, said that the “Buckle Up!” campaign was part of a broader effort by the General Department of Road Traffic Safety and RAMI to establish a road safety culture. They have been doing a tremendous amount of work for many years now. “In the last eight years, there has been a particular emphasis in Russia on work relating to seat belts, and campaigns like “Buckle Up!” are achieving results: studies show that people have indeed started to buckle up. While in 2006 only 30% of people always used a seatbelt, in 2012 it was 80%,” Ms Agre said.

Ms Agre stressed, however, that it would only be possible to really change the situation on Russia's roads if every department and ministry engaged in this work: “A road user's attitudes and behaviour begin to form literally from birth. Therefore, education must start in maternity hospitals, continue at nursery and school, and be reinforced at driving schools. Continuity is important in road safety education.”

One of the next steps in this respect is to develop training programmes for various categories of driver. Road Safety Russia is part of the Russian Ministry for Education and Science’s working group that has been tasked with producing these documents. In its feedback to the group, Road Safety Russia has placed particular emphasis on road safety and the need for a module on seat belt and child restraint use.