Violence and Injury Prevention

Road safety in the Russian Federation

In Russia, young people holding 40km speed limit signs at the side of the road as part of “Life is more important than speed” campaign
Master Media/P. Polurotov

The Global status report on road safety 2013 estimates that more than 26 500 people are killed in road traffic crashes in the Russian Federation every year. Of these deaths, 52% are vulnerable road users, the majority of whom are pedestrians. Young males are particularly at risk of dying from road traffic crashes. The Russian Federation is one of the ten countries included in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme which is being conducted over five years (2010–2014) by a consortium of international partners together with national governments and local organizations.

Russian Federation road safety project

The overall goal of the road safety project is to support the Government of the Russian Federation in the implementation of its national objectives to prevent death and serious injury on the country’s roads. Project activities focus on increasing seat-belt and child restraint use and preventing speeding.

In the context of the project in the Russian Federation, WHO assesses legislation and advises on possible improvements, develops social marketing campaigns and measures their impact, hosts workshops for journalists, and provides road safety equipment to local implementers. The Global Road Safety Partnership trains the police on enforcement, while Johns Hopkins University conducts monitoring and evaluation activities.

The project is being implemented in the administrative districts of:

  • Lipetsk Oblast
  • Ivanovo Oblast

The combined population of these focus regions is around 2.3 million people.

Key results

Rates of seat-belt wearing in Lipetsk Oblast have increased from around 50% to nearly 80% and in Ivanovo Oblast from below 50% to above 90% between 2010 and 2013, while the use of child restraints has quadrupled in Lipetsk Oblast and risen from 20% to above 80% in Ivanovo Oblast. The proportion of drivers travelling above the posted speed limit has steadily declined in both Lipetsk and Ivanovo Oblasts.

WHO-supported activities


Two assessments of the comprehensiveness of the Russian Federation’s road safety laws and regulations on all risk factors as well as post-crash response were conducted in 2011 and 2013 with support from WHO. In addition, WHO continues to provide technical advice to the Government on the development of evidence-based policies. For example, WHO has been involved in the assessment of the child restraint law and regulation to strengthen the use of appropriate and standard child restraints; and review and development of recommendations on regulations related to the post-crash response.

Social marketing

WHO produces evidence-based mass media campaigns after extensive research and testing conducted with target audiences. The following social marketing campaigns to prevent speeding and promote seat-belts have been developed and aired in the Russian Federation.

Do Not Disconnect The Line Of Life (2013)
Life Is More Valuable Than Speed (2011)
Do Not Disconnect The Line Of Life (2010)

Print ads and radio spots have also been developed and aired as part of this campaign.

Working with the media

Media reporting on road safety is an important mechanism for raising awareness among the general public and promoting specific policy changes by policy-makers. Between July 2011 and October 2013, WHO organized workshops in Lipetsk and Ivanovo Oblasts on general road safety concepts. These were attended by 150 journalists. As an incentive for journalists to write more and differently on road safety, an award programme was organized in 2011 and 2012 for the best story on road safety in either television, radio or print media.