Traffic police threatens Yandex.Drive with sanctions

Fifty road accidents in a month and a half of the car sharing service in Kazan has urged the traffic police to check car sharing vehicles en masse

The General Administration for Traffic Safety of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, popularly known under its historical abbreviation GAI, in Tatarstan carried out in Kazan, the third city after Moscow and Saint Petersburg where Yandex car sharing service operates, a preventive raid on identification of violators at a wheel of the rented cars. The reason was the statistics for the first month and a half of Yandex.Drive, from which it follows that drivers who use the service, as well as taxi drivers, behave on the road more carelessly than ordinary drivers and violate traffic rules more often. GAI checked about 50 rental cars over 6 hours of the raid and revealed violations almost of a quarter of drivers: 12 — of the drivers of the car sharing service, and 1 — of a taxi driver with the foreign license. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

The goal is compliance with the rules

“These types of transportation must be licensed, but often these requirements are not met. Car sharing drivers or taxi drivers, taking advantage the distinctive signs of cars, violate the traffic regulations. Accordingly, our task is to prevent violations of traffic rules by those categories of drivers who go there,” Deputy Head of the Traffic Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tatarstan, Police Colonel Alexander Razumnov addressed the subordinates.

The colonel explained to the journalists that the reason for the “preventative raid” was the alarming statistics over a month and a half of work of the car sharing service. From 27 May to 13 July, the persons driving rental vehicles caused 52 traffic accidents. “In two cases, the drivers simply fled the scene of the accident. Drivers were detained in a condition of alcoholic intoxication, deprived of the right to drive — it is all about car sharing. Over such a short period of time, more than a thousand violations of traffic rules have been recorded by cameras of means of photo and video recording on the territory of the republic,” said Razumnov.

“Taxi drivers in pursuit of profit or drivers of rented vehicles do not always comply with the traffic rules, taking advantage of the fact that the car is not registered on them. Taxis are mostly hired drivers, car sharing — it is also not the owners of vehicles. Therefore, they become participants in traffic accidents and violate traffic rules.”

There are about 100 accidents in general a day, the colonel told Realnoe Vremya. About 2 out of them are caused by car sharing drivers, and given the very small fleet of cars in the car sharing service, it speaks of the carelessness of drivers of rental cars:

“If you take the dry statistics, given this amount of transport in Kazan as a whole and the amount of transport in the car sharing service, drivers do not characterize themselves as absolutely law-abiding citizens. You take the number of vehicles registered to individuals and legal entities registered in Kazan — and this is a million. Here, in addition to residents of Kazan, every day there is a large flow of transport from the suburbs.”

Sanctions for Yandex.Drive

Razumnov emphasized that the traffic police “will pay close attention” to the drivers of these categories of vehicles, but they are not going to find fault with them without a reason: “We will monitor compliance of this category of drivers with the traffic rules.”

The company that provides car sharing services in Kazan, Yandex.Drive, is liable as a legal entity for the provision of its vehicles, and according to Razumnov, it will be responsible in case of identification of violations, be sanctioned according to the laws of the Russian Federation.

The traffic police could not disclose to Realnoe Vremya the amount of the fines to the company for the committed traffic violations by drivers: “The issue of liability to the legal person providing the services of car sharing. It will be decided in each case individually according to the conditions in which the accident was committed. Not a quick process. In any case, first, we must recognize the responsibility of the driver, and then there is the involvement of the legal entity within the violation,” the correspondent was told.

The raid

At 11 a.m., the crews started to leave to places: they were located in the area of the streets Yamasheva, Dekabristov, Dubravnaya, Prospekt Pobedy and other roads with heavy traffic.

Over several hours of patrolling, GAI officers checked 45 rental cars. A quarter of the drivers were filed with 12 administrative materials: six did not fasten seat belts, five used cell phones while driving.

The raid also revealed one serious violation, and it doesn't concern the car sharing service. Citizen of Tajikistan Umedzhon Aliyev, a driver of Yandex.Taxi, presented a foreign driver's license to GAI, explaining that he didn't know that he couldn't use it in Tatarstan.

After a while, his wife with a five-year-old child came to the place. A Kia car belongs to her. Meanwhile, it turned out that Aliyev had no registration.

“The driver was detained in the police department — it was confirmed that he had no registration. The police filed three administrative materials. No sanctions in relation to his wife will be applied,” deputy chief of the propaganda department of the GAI in the Republic of Tatarstan Rafael Sagdiyev told Realnoe Vremya.

Razumov told reporters that such raids will continue to prevent violations.

By Leysan Nabieva, author’s photo