about us | newsletter | contact | archive | members area
Andreea Paun, Griffes
In 2018, we will be delivering Unirii View»
  Features:      COUNTRY FOCUS   |   SECTOR ANALYSIS   |

Romanian love affair with the wheel shows contempt for public space

A national disgrace of Romania is the nationís pathetic record on road safety. Every year EU-collated statistics have revealed how Romania is the most dangerous country in the 27 member-bloc for traffic fatalities

April 2011 - From the Print Edition

With information comparing the number of deaths to the number of hours driven on the road, Romania tops the list with a massive margin - in 2009 it was twice as dangerous as Bulgaria and 20 times as dangerous as Sweden.
The figure has dropped since 2008, as in other countries, due to a lower purchasing power which sees citizens spend less time in their cars. But there is a fear that once the economy revives, drivers will increase their hours on the road, and fatalities could pick up.
Meanwhile the Government still fails to come up with an inter-ministerial strategy on road safety and has also recently cut the budget for a research institute into traffic security.
Why is there such a high rate of car crashes? There are key issues - poor road infrastructure, unclear signage, untrained drivers and a propensity of pedestrians to jay-walk - often because there is no pavement.
But there is also another factor common to societies with huge wealth disparities in emerging markets - it is about class.
Drivers cutting red lights or speeding are disproportionately behind the wheel of expensive cars, where often the driver is on his mobile phone.
Much of the time they are rich, sometimes they are drunk, but they are not always Romanian. The laxity of the Romanian traffic system and the permissiveness of Romanian drivers seems to give the nationís international guests a carte blanche to behave with criminal tendencies.
These drivers do not understand the responsibility of being a car owner, believing that they are in charge of a toy and not a weapon. However - for the man or woman on the street, there is no difference between a 1,500 kg 4X4 tearing through a red light into a group of passing pedestrians and a rocket being launched into a town market.
These drivers do not choose to understand that traffic regulations exist for the safety of the citizens and not to limit their personal freedom. They believe that if they are caught by the authorities for a traffic offence, this is something from which they can buy their way out.
They believe that if they can afford an expensive car, they can drive it where they want and how they want. If they spend 70,000 Euro on a vehicle that can hit 200 km per hour, they believe they have a right to drive at this speed on streets.
It is about one class of people who believe that private ownership gives them the right to hold the public space in contempt. It creates a Romania of two halves - those who see the country as a playground and those who see it as a battleground.
Education, proper training and better road signage would help - but there also needs to be more direct action by citizens. There should be a database available of the registration numbers of every car that cuts through a red light without penalties - a blacklist - because these individuals are guilty of attempted murder.
Citizens should share the registration numbers and smash the windows or let down the tyres of any car guilty of a traffic crime for which the driver has served no punishment. I would also recommend that the graffiti artists who stencil the city streets or underground trains - which are cleaned at a great cost to the taxpayer - should reorient their creative impulses to private cars who cut red lights or park their vehicles illegally. The public space needs to fight back.

Michael Bird

There is 1 comment:

Mike Bradley: on 2011-04-13 13:31:13
I have visited Romania on business in the last few months and I can say that I do not find your drivers any more dangerous than say the Spanish or Germans. One piece of constructive criticism I would like to offer is perhaps you could make the speed limit signs more prominent. Locals know where the limits begin and end but us visitors do not and more prominent signage would help.

Validation Code

1 Comment  |  10094 View
Daily Info
Renault Technologie Roumanie appoints Alexander Simionescu as new general manager

Alexander Simionescu is the new general manager of Renault Technologie Roumanie (RTR), starting April 2018. Pascal Candau, who has held this position for three years, will tak...

CBRE intermediates a land transaction for a washing machines plant in Hunedoara

CBRE intermediated the acquisition of a 42-ha plot by BSH Electrocasnice Manufacturing, the Romanian subsidiary of the German concern BSH Hausgerate GmbH, part of Bosch group....

CFR Calatori passenger trains register total delays of almost nine years in 2017

The trains ran by the state-owned company CFR Calatori registered total delays of some 4.53 million minutes in 2017, which translates into around 8.6 years, according to data ...

AFI City residential project certified as a Green Home

AFI Europe Romania enters ROGBC's Pre-Certification phase as Green Project with AFI City's first two residential buildings developed by the company in Bucharest.

Vox Vertical Village to be delivered in Timisoara at the end of 2019

Vox Vertical Village represents the first "vertical village" concept on the local real estate market and will reunite 120 houses in a building with ten levels. Over a third of...





More on Features
Romanian office market ripening, in both leasing and acquisition

From the investment standpoint, lower rates of return and increased liquidity lure the investors, Andreea Paun, Managing Partner, Griffes said in an interview for The Diplo...

ISS: External FM market volume will grow as more Western European FM companies open subsidiaries in Romania

In the last few years as well as in 2017, the Romanian FM market has been in the process of maturing, focusing more and more on quality, efficiency and added value, demandi...

Digital Finance - driving force for the banking industry

Digitalization is radically transforming the banking industry, enabling new products, services and business models. This transformation will take time to complete, forcing ...

Global efforts to develop low-carbon, energy-efficient solutions

Interview with Robert Tudorache, Secretary of State, Ministry of Energy

Fresh Delivery (P)

Up to speed with the courier sector in an interview with Gian Sharp, CEO at Urgent Cargus

ANCOM: We look at the postal services market in the light of e-commerce developments

Romania's courier business is pretty dynamic these days and tends to become more and more high-tech as players are trying to find innovative solutions to keep up with users...

High potential for sustainable growth on Romanian FM market

Facility Management is still a developing market in Romania, with a lot of challenges to overcome. The Romanian Facility Management Association (ROFMA) analyses the relevan...