Azerbaijan, Baku, July 2 /Trend, E.Huseynli/
Trend Interview with Chief of the State Traffic Police of the Interior Ministry of Azerbaijan, Police Major General Ramiz Zeynalov.
Trend: First of all, we congratulate You on the Police Day and wish you success in this difficult, but glorious career. What progress has the State Traffic Police reached over the period of Azerbaijan's independence?
Ramiz Zeynalov: I also congratulate all those who work in the police agencies. Traffic police in Azerbaijan is an integral part of the Interior Ministry. We always keep on focus the requirements coming from our esteemed minister, as well as trying to adequately implement all the duties that are assigned to the traffic police. Our goal is to ensure the safe movement of people, so that people can safely reach their homes, ensure compliance with traffic regulations. We manage with certain part of this work, but there are some difficulties. But the work of traffic policies glorious and complex. The most important thing is that in the way of its development the traffic police made successful steps in strengthening its legal framework, improving logistics, the integration into the global police system.
Mr. President provides great support in improving the legal and material and technical base of traffic police. State programs have been approved in this regard.
Thanks to the President, the material and technical base of the traffic police were provided with the most modern computers. A Law on Road Movement was adopted, which meets all international standards. We have joined several conventions. The attention by the Head of State to this field creates firm foundation for the realization of abilities and decent service by each policeman to his motherland and people. This historical path, of course, pleases the visitors to our country. I would say that in no other CIS countries, there are traffic police so well provided with the necessary modern equipment.
Of course, we have passed a long way, and much can be told about this. Traffic police has always tried to prevent traffic accidents to ensure that such incidents are less. I am proud of saying that we have achieved this to a certain extent. Currently there are about one million vehicles, and despite this, the number of accidents, injuries and deaths are much less than 1990s. And the number of personnel also declined compared with this period.
Q: Additions and changes were adopted to the Law on Road Movement in Azerbaijan. What was the reason for changes and how they affect the prevention of violations of traffic rules?
A: The Law on Road Movement was adopted in 1998. First, there was a need to amend the law. Secondly, it was also necessary to review some issues in the law. It was necessary to toughen penalties for violations of certain rules.
The analysis of all changes takes a long time. But I'll tell you about the results of a brief analysis. Most accidents occur because of carelessness of drivers. The greatest cause of accidents is conversation while driving. In any case, man distracts when dialing or even when talking by phone while driving. Those who drive car are well aware of this, although it is not so noticeable from aside. A driver commits an accident, while talking by phone during driving. There was a need to increase the punishment for this violation. Using mobile phone while driving greatly affects the number of road accidents. From this point of view, the Parliament took a right action, making such a decision to increase the fine to 50 manat.
If the punishment is not increased, the number of violations will increase. Penalties should be toughened up in order to avoid such violations. Of course, there should not be such understanding that if the penalty for the violation of the rules is small, you can violate the rules, and if the punishment is severe - not to be violated. There are public rules, and everyone is obliged to follow them. Everyone has a constitutional right, everyone wants calmness. Drivers make signals, even when it is not necessary. Thus, they violate the calmness of the citizens. This is unacceptable. Therefore, standards are defined that would serve the public, the people.
Unfortunately, some of our drivers feel such small acts as particular pride, for example, raising the front of the car, installation of high-power noise signals, sound radio or tape recorder. From aside it looks quite trivial, vulgar. Each of us must help form world vision of citizens, so that the citizens comply with the laws of the civilized world. We must try to ensure that every guest of Azerbaijan, every citizen of our country witness driving culture, care and attention of people to each other.
Q: Mr. General, from this point of view, in addition to toughening up penalties, it is necessary to conduct enlightenment in order to change the consciousness of drivers. What preventive measures does traffic police conduct in this regard?
A: I express my gratitude to every journalist, the journalists, who help us in this regard. The fact that you are talking about is already helping us. There is a great need to enlighten the population. Programs of the traffic police are constantly broadcasted on the television. And enlightenment information about the traffic police is provided every day. This is important, there is a huge need to strengthen enlightenment, so it is important to enlighten people.
Upon the order by the Minister, State Road Police appealed to the Ministry of Education. Now the issue is considered to teach traffic rules at secondary schools and other educational institutions. Through such teaching, we want to ensure even greater awareness. In this regard, we, traffic police, have prepared a series of textbooks. Textbooks are distributed free and amongst the Azerbaijanis living in Georgia as well. We have prepared and sent training manual for primary schools, fourth and fifth forms of schools. We always urge to innovate in enlightenment activities. Our videos are always broadcasted on television channels. Propaganda is most important, the best part of our work.
Q: New cameras are established in Baku. What features have these cameras and what impact they will have on the prevention of violations of traffic rules?
A: We should take the advantages of technological progress. It is not secret that Mr. President holds this issue on the focus of attention and provides the necessary assistance. He ordered the allocation of funds for the purchase and use of technical means. The Interior Ministry has prepared a plan called "safe city" and started to implement it.
The system has been operating for three years as a monitoring mechanism at 103 intersections of Baku city, which determines the offending drivers by making frames. Introducing these technical tools helps us identify violating traffic rules for drivers and their punishment. This technology not only helps prevent violations of traffic rules, but also record and disclosure the crimes committed.
Huge work is carried out in this regard. I believe that the technical facilities will help us resolve disputes between drivers over traffic violations. They are also very important for the identification and apprehension of wanted vehicles, criminal groups, etc.
Installing cameras is a requirement of today. We must and will use them. We should expand the use of technology every day. These cameras provide traffic control.
We also have a system called "green zone". We automatically manage it from center, creating a "green zone" for vehicles to move in the right direction to prevent traffic jams.
Q: 2010 was announced the Year of Ecology. Import of cars that do not meet Euro-2 standard to Azerbaijan has been banned since July 1, 2010. Is it worthy to expect changes in the rules of passing inspection? What, in general, measures will be taken by traffic police in this regard?
A: In general, good technical condition of vehicles is a very important issue. Unfortunately, some drivers do not want to give up vehicles that are already in use for 30-40 years, making them holy. But each of us should refer to the vehicle as a transport mean. This is a mean, which helps us in life.
The vehicle has its operational period. Even such a tough material like metal can also rust. All means have their own operation period, after which they can not be used. Therefore, the driver who sits behind the wheel of a defective, carying in it his family and children, must understand that he risks their lives. This is unacceptable. Therefore, any person driving car should be confident in its technical condition. Only then he can drive a car. The vehicle must be technically serviceable.
Given this, the legislation has defined standards. Rules have been established on the amount of hazardous substances emitted by cars. Today we begin to use standards that meet international standards. So, a ban was imposed on the import of vehicles not meeting Euro-2 standard. Also control was strengthenned over technical serviceability of vehicles in use. To use it, upon the order by the Minister, attention has been increased to quality of the technical inspection and ensure the necessary technical equipment in both regions and in the capital.
Our diagnostic center has been equipped with modern equipment, brought from Germany.
In addition, we began construction of a large diagnostic center. We construct a diagnostic center, which will give an opportunity to inspect more than 500 vehicles in Baku. We attach importance to this field, and this is a very important question. I believe that everyone should pay particular attention to this for the sake of his health and of his family and all people.