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You're reading: The teenage traffic victim

I saw this scene recently in Kyiv on Ivana Mazepu Street, down which I walk and drive regularly. Although the street is often thickly populated with traffic policemen (sic – I have not yet seen a woman traffic officer in Kyiv) flagging down passing motorists, I have never seen one of them stop a car for speeding.

Meanwhile some motorists drive down this street at immense velocity, particularly at night, apparently confident that they face little risk of paying a penalty or losing their licence. In these circumstances there seems little incentive to drive responsibly; and Ukraine has one of the worst records for traffic fatalities in Europe.

There are many factors involved in traffic accidents, as this nifty Wikipedia site makes clear. It’s hard to make international comparisons, given the differing numbers of vehicles on roads, the amounts people drive, and so on. But the wiki site has some interesting figures for EU countries, showing numbers killed per billion kilometres travelled (the safest country is the Netherlands, followed by Sweden and the UK).

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