Viewing cable 10YEREVAN82, DISTRACTED DRIVING DEMARCHE
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|10YEREVAN82||2010-02-18 12:12||2011-01-13 05:05||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Yerevan|
VZCZCXYZ0001 RR RUEHWEB DE RUEHYE #0082 0491245 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 181245Z FEB 10 FM AMEMBASSY YEREVAN TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0037
UNCLAS YEREVAN 000082 SIPDIS OES/S FOR N. CARTER-FOSTER, DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/CAR - KAREN JO MCISAAC E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: ECON SOCI UNDP UNGA IC SUBJECT: DISTRACTED DRIVING DEMARCHE REF: STATE 06703 ¶1. Poloff delivered points contained in reftel to Lilit Avetisyan, the Armenian Ministry of Health officer responsible for road safety issues. In order to compile some of below statistics, Poloff also accessed government statistics available to the public at www.armstat.am. ¶2. According to Avetisyan, there are currently no Armenian laws that ban texting and/or cell phone use while driving. Still, Avetisyan was optimistic that a law would be passed via the Armenian government's 5 year strategic transport safety plan. Avetisyan noted that a law covering cell phone use while driving has been discussed by various parliamentarian committees, but has not yet been passed or implemented by parliament. ¶3. There is no data available regarding casualties, injuries, or crashes in Armenia related to cell phone usage or other forms of driver distraction. Interestingly, traffic accident statistics for 2009 showed a 20 percent improvement compared to previous years. Officials believe that this improvement was due to a stricter enforcement of fines and other sanctions for the violation of traffic rules. Armenia has also recently started cracking down on the widespread and long standing non-use of safety belts by Armenian motorists. Additionally, Armenian Police recently announced plans to install a number of traffic cameras which would have the ability to identify motorists who violate the speed limit, run traffic lights, and other common traffic violations. ¶4. (U) The Armenian government has sponsored a mass media awareness campaign regarding cell phone use while driving. Avetisyan explained that the campaign placed advertisements on television, in newspapers, and distributed pamphlets which outlined the dangers of using a cell phone while operating a vehicle. YOVANOVITCH