After yet another large-scale road accident claimed a further 16 lives this week in Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday that there have in fact been fewer fatal road accidents this year compared to 2014.
“During the first half of 2015, 79,220 road accidents occurred, which is 6.4 percent less than during the same period of 2014. In those accidents 11,036 people were killed, which is 15.8 percent less than during the same period of 2014,” Shuvalov was cited by Kommersant daily as saying while presenting a set of additional measures aimed at improving road safety to President Vladimir Putin.
Earlier that day, a devastating bus crash in the far eastern Khabarovsk region killed 16 and injured more than 50 people.
It was the latest in a series of large-scale fatal road accidents that have swept across Russian regions this summer, belying the positive statistics authorities report.
Khabarovsk Bus Crash: 16 Killed, 56 Injured
Two buses collided head-on on a highway linking Khabarovsk, on the border with China, and Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Russia's Far East on Wednesday. Sixteen people were killed in the crash and 56 injured, according to officials.
Prosecutors investigating the case said the driver of one of the buses had moved into the oncoming lane to avoid vehicles belonging to a road repair crew, and lost control. The bus hit another bus going the other way and overturned. The Investigative Committee has opened an investigation into the possible violation of traffic rules.
Collision in Krasnoyarsk: 11 Killed, 43 Injured
A bus crashed into a truck near the Siberian town of Krasnoyarsk, killing 11 people and injuring 43 on July 22, Interfax news agency reported.
The bus belonged to a group of companies named Avtokolonna 1967-Vostok, which also owned a vehicle that was involved in a crash that killed another 11 people in Krasnoyarsk earlier in July.
Chechnya Minibus Tragedy: 10 Killed, 8 injured
Just hours before the crash in Krasnoyarsk on July 22, 10 people were killed in Chechnya after the private minibus they were traveling in plunged into a ravine, Interfax reported.
Another eight people — including a 2-year-old child — were injured in the accident. Six victims, including the child, were said to be in serious condition.
Another Krasnoyarsk Bus Accident: 11 Killed, 9 Injured
A bus carrying 27 people moved into the oncoming lane of the M-54 federal highway and collided with a minibus carrying 16 people, killing 11 people and injuring another nine on July 9, the TASS news agency reported.
All of the 11 people killed in the crash were traveling on the minibus. The 59-year-old bus driver had reportedly taken over from another driver shortly before the crash and was detained, the report said.
2 Traffic Accidents in Omsk: 23 Killed
Twenty-three people were killed in one day in two major traffic accidents in Siberia's Omsk region on June 24. Sixteen people died when a KamAZ truck collided with a bus outside the city of Omsk, the Flash Siberia news site reported.
The truck was carrying bricks, which contributed to the impact, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.
Another seven people were killed in a head-on collision between a Russian-made Lada and a Toyota sedan in a separate incident, Flash Siberia reported. A day of mourning was held on June 25 in the region.