Aggressive driving called reason No. 1 for death toll on Russia's roads in 2003

'The main reason for the rise in the number of road accidents in Russia remains aggressive driver behavior,' Viktor Kiryanov, chief of the main administration of the Highway Safety Inspectorate, declared Thursday at a special plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly. According to the inspectorate's press office, the session was devoted to road safety in its current state of crisis worldwide.

Kiryanov told the world body that Russia had registered 204,267 road accidents in 2003, with 35,600 deaths and 244,000 injuries resulting from them. Kiryanov noted that Russian road-accident figures are now up for the fourth year in a row. By comparison with 2002, the number of accidents for 2003 was up 10.8%, the number of deaths up 7% and the number of injured up 12.7%.

Kiryanov said almost 80% of all road accidents in Russia involve violations by drivers, mostly for driving under the influence, speeding and driving in the lane of oncoming traffic.

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