Five orphaned teens were waiting for a bus with their guardians in Moscow on Saturday when a car careened into them, killing all seven. Grief turned to outrage when it emerged that the driver was heavily drunk and had a string of traffic violations on his record — including a DUI arrest two years ago.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and lawmakers have reacted with proposals to stiffen penalties on drunken drivers, and parliament debated the measures on Tuesday. But with bribery so commonplace and road laws rarely enforced, many wonder whether even the toughest response can change a deep-set culture of reckless driving.
After the crash, Alexander Maximov stumbled out of his Toyota sedan, which he had been driving at 200 kilometers (125 miles per hour), bloodied and barely able to stand. He appeared in court Monday with his head wounds dressed, but still wearing the blood-speckled sweatshirt from the day of the accident.