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II. Supply the following words with translation. Learn the words with their definitions.

Driving in Russia

Driving in Russia has become a risky way to get around. Each year, some 197,000 traffic accidents are registered nationwide, with 25,000 fatalities on the road, according to Traffic Police statistics. And the numbers keep growing at a staggering rate of ten percent per year. In Moscow, the annual number of accidents averages 14,000, with over one thousand fatalities. Up to ten children die everyday in car accidents, or 3,600 a year.

Officials blame the growing crisis on a number of factors, ranging from the bad driving habits of Russian drivers, unsafe road conditions and inadequate training for new drivers.

A sampling of the statistics from the traffic police blotter this week illustrates the dangers. On Wednesday, police officers arrested a woman in Moscow after she hit two children at a pedestrian crossing in Central Moscow. One of the children remains in the hospital. A few hours later, on the same side street, another hit-and-run incident left a boy in the hospital. On Tuesday, another driver, a woman from Lipetsk temporarily registered in Moscow, hit a woman pushing a baby carriage. The 5-month old baby was rushed to hospital with a brain concussion. The driver was detained, but released without her drivers’ license.

On Monday, a motorcyclist died while attempting to turn onto Aminyevskoye highway from Kutuzovsky Avenue. Witnesses say he was moving at a high rate of speed before he rode his bike into a bus. Another motorcyclist ran over him as he lay in the road.

The same day, a driver of a BMW with three passengers on board lost control of his vehicle as he was speeding towards Moscow from the city of Dolgoprudny. He lost control of his car, veered into oncoming traffic, and collided with a municipal truck head-on, killing everyone in the car. Within a five-day period, between September 21 and 25, Moscow suffered 173 traffic accidents that left 18 people dead and 193 injured. Twenty three of the casualties were children. In August, there 1,213 traffic accidents that left 109 people dead, including three children; 1,393 people were injured, including 103 children.

Traffic Police say that the ignorance of traffic safety rules is behind these deaths.

“When driving a «safe» car drivers rarely think about the consequences of their careless behaviour”, a Moscow State Traffic Safety Inspectorate official, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Moscow News. “They do not think about their own safety at all. Even less they think about other people, including pedestrians, who quite often get under their wheels and say good-bye to life”.

Speeding is the most common violation in Moscow. “High-speed driving is dangerous, even if you are the only one on the road,” the official said.

Officials say that nearly one-third of all the traffic accidents are caused by speeding. Drunk drivers cause every tenth accident. In every seventh accident, drivers have no license at all.

Driving in the oncoming lane is second on the list of Russian drivers’ favourite traffic crimes, followed by attempting to make a turn or to speed up on a yellow light.

But at least where pedestrian crosswalks are concerned, drivers are reportedly becoming more polite. And more pedestrian have stopped running across wherever they please and started patiently going to pedestrian crossings in order to cross. “Our key goal is forming law-abiding behaviour of pedestrians and drivers”, the official said.

According to a poll, 42 percent of drivers and 78 percent of pedestrians are capable of intentional violation of traffic rules, road police said. Another major traffic problem is that the physical state of the roads is far from perfect. Little attention is paid to building new pedestrian underpasses, and little is done to guarantee safety intersections.

“Road workers are trying to patch roads, which has not yet undergone complex reconstruction”, another source in the traffic Police said. “But that could even worsen the situation as when the patches appear, their structure turns to differ from that of the rest road surface, and when a car starts braking on them, the effect is too insignificant to let the vehicle stop in time. “Moreover, even after complex reconstruction of roads, the same services come back sometime and dig out the same roads again, leaving patches. What for? What are they hiding there? – Maybe their own violations. The reconstructed roads, even in case they were properly used do not serve as long as they have to,” the source said. “Ruts are appearing at newly reconstructed roads within two to three months after reconstruction works were over. In the worst case the ruts are seen the next day after reconstruction.”

Such conditions, which can make cars and motorcycles lose control, are likely the fault of under qualified, possibly illegally hired, construction workers.

“That’s especially dangerous, taking into account that most of people driving in the streets simply cannot drive, even if they really passed the examination and have not bought their driving licenses,” the official continued. “The latter, by the way, became very popular, though more expensive than, say, a year or two ago.”

Most of the time spent by drivers at driving school is at specially chosen training areas and safer city streets, and many essential driving skills – like the different ways to brake properly – are neglected. As a result, driving school graduates still know little about their car and how a vehicle will behave in certain situations. As it stands, the number of cars in Russia is growing steadily, while it seems the number of people, who can drive safely, is decreasing.

II. Supply the following words with translation. Learn the words with their definitions.

1. fatality – a violent accidental death

2. to blame – to consider smth or someone responsible for smth bad

3. blotter – a book where records are written every day, before the information is stored elsewhere (often in the phrase police blotter)

4. pedestrian – a person traveling on foot, esp. in a street or other place used by cars

5. brain concussion – damage to the brain caused by a heavy blow, shock, or violent shaking

6. to be detained – to be arrested

7. to veer into/round – to change direction

8. to collide with – to crash violently; to come into disagreement

9. casualty – a person hurt in an accident or killed or wounded in battle

10. violation – disregard or act (smth solemnly promised, accepted as right or legal etc.)

11. intersection – a point where roads, lines etc. intersect, esp. where two roads cross

12. to patch – to mend or repair quickly or roughly

13. rut – a deep narrow track left in soft ground by a wheel

14. traffic lights - any of a set of coloured lights used for controlling and directing traffic, esp. where one road crosses another

15. poll – an attempt to find out the general opinion about smth., esp. about a political matter, by questioning a number of people chosen by chance

Date: 2016-01-03; view: 425

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