On February 11, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the new version of the traffic rules, which will come into force on April 15 of this year.

The new rules provide for new markings, obligatory use of headlights during the day, introduction of new notion "lawn", where parking will be prohibited.

Drivers will no longer trouble head about what is "dark". The "dark" period used to start 30 minutes after sunset and finish 30 minutes before sunrise. Now this is simply the sunset-to-sunrise period.
Moreover, according to the new rules, traffic signs have advantage of road markings, and from October 1 to May 1, all vehicles will be obliged to use dim lights driving outside populated areas.
With all changes and innovations, the new traffic rules do not stipulate for obligatory use of winter tires, but only recommend using "respective" ones.

To learn about effectiveness of the new version of traffic rules ForUm has asked experts.

Yuri Shapovalov, MP (Party of Regions), racing car driver, master of auto racing:

- I drive a lot, both as a professional driver and a sportsman, and I can tell that the security level on our roads merely cannot be worse. It is good that then new version of the traffic rules stipulates for the use of dim lights outside populated area. I would also toughen the rules regarding tires. I believe we need to set timeframes for obligatory use of winter tires. Our drivers always try to save money and usually ignore the change of seasons.

The revised version of the traffic rules is far from perfect. We need to continue toughening rules and increasing fines, as the driving culture in Ukraine is very poor. We have the highest statistics of road accidents and deaths. The change of rules in 2007 improved the situation on the roads, but our drivers probably have got used to new fines, and the situation starts worsening again.

Vyachesval Klymenko, press secretary of the Association of International Road Carriers of Ukraine:

- We welcome these changes. However, we've been following European rules for a long time. The European legislation already provides for obligatory use of dim lights and other changes in Ukrainian traffic rules already. This document does not bring anything new.

Vasyl Popik, head of the trades union of taxi drivers of Ukraine:

- We welcome all the improvements of the new version, and we do not see any new rules to challenge. Using dim lights during day driving is a European norm, for example. It's hard to tell if these changes can improve the situation on the roads, but I doubt they will stop "golden" youth.

Gennady Moskal , MP (Batkivshchyna), first deputy head of the parliamentary committee on fight against organized crime and corruption:

- Ukraine is the leader in Europe on number of road injuries and deaths. The changes submitted by the Cabinet are like mineral water - it does not hurt, but it does not help either. In other words, these changes are not enough. Moreover, the Cabinet cannot set traffic rules. Changes to the traffic regulations must be introduced by the parliament.  

In particular, for drunken driving offenders must face criminal responsibility with confiscation of the vehicle and permanent ban on driving. Drunken person is inadequate, and some fines or administrative punishments are not enough.

Vasyl Zaychenko, lawyer, former head of the traffic safety center of the traffic inspection:

-  I believe that with winter tires and dim lights obligations we can definitely improve the situation on the roads. The experience of European countries proves this.

Such specifications as "traffic signs have advantage of road markings" and "dark is sunset-to-sunrise period" simplify the rules and make them easier to understand. It is somewhat difficult to determine 30 minutes before sunset, for example, especially if the weather is foggy. In fact, in my opinion, our rules do need simplification. Current Code is too complicated, and some articles repeat themselves. We still have much work to do.

Oleksandr Zubenko, head of the traffic police department on preventive measures:

- Innovations of the new version of the traffic rules pursue the only objective - to increase safety on the roads. Obligatory use of dim lights will make vehicles more visible on the road, and consequently will increase safety of all road users, including bicyclists and pedestrians. The use of dim lights during day driving reduces risks of accidents.

When the Cabinet was developing the resolution, it took into account requirements of the Convention on Road Traffic and European standards to bring the rules in line with modern standards and to improve the road safety level.


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