Sunday, February 11, 2007

20% increase in traffic accidents due to corruption

The story below claims that traffic accidents are up by 20% due to better roads and people being able to afford to buy cars.

Though there may be some truth to this, I would say that the story lacks the fact that you can buy your way out of trouble if you are driving drunk and that to get your drivers license in the first place, you never have to see the inside of a driving school or take a test. You can just pay the school fees, pay off the doctors that “examined” you and give a gift (bribe) to the head of the licensing department.

In terms of crime rates going up, I’m not sure if this is completely accurate (it could be higher than reported), as in the past (in terms of Artsakh), it was quite common that recorded crimes were not always registered. This was done for a couple of reasons. One was that the government didn’t want to show in their statistics that crime was high and the second was that people would buy their way out of criminal prosecution by paying police officials a bribe to look the other way.


Feb 08 2007

A deputy chief of police blamed yesterday a 20 percent rise in traffic accidents last year on improving living conditions of his country fellows 'who can now afford buying more and more cars.' Another reason according to Lieutenant -General Hovhannes Hunanian is a massive repair of the country's roads due to which motorist drive with higher speed.

Hovhannes Hunanian said a total of 1,574 road accidents were reported last year by Armenian traffic police which killed 332 and injured 2,089 people. In the last four years, he said, Armenians bought 80,000 cars and 24,000 in 2006 alone. Hunanian said traffic police is undergoing a sweeping reform which he said is supposed to improve the work of road policemen and bring order to roads.

According to other figures, released by Hunanian, crimes rate last year rose nearly 10 percent to 9,757, but he argued that the higher crime rate had not any impact on the criminal situation.

The figures released by Hunanian show that 75 people were murdered last year, sharply up from 55 such cases officially registered in 2005.

Law-enforcement authorities also registered a more than 30 percent surge in instances of drug abuse and trafficking that totaled 1,510, or nearly 16 percent of the overall crime statistics.

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