Igor Morzharetto and Anton Chuikin had about the same dialogue about a year ago, and then it turned out that it was a long, expensive, difficult trip … Meanwhile, the reform went through the Ministry of Internal Affairs: our police became the police, which made the desire to arrange a police test more intense. And here the Renault company invites you to a test drive in Azerbaijan! In general, we flew to Baku to return to Moscow on the diesel Duster. And look not only at the car, but also at life, and most importantly - at the traffic police of the three countries. And, for example, to count how many times a striped rod will wave before a new car with Moscow numbers.
- Camera, recorder, notepad?
“Just two.” And there are eight fresh magazines.
… The first phrase that every republic or region met us is put in the headline.
COUNTRY OF WHITE "LADIES"
We drove along the roads of Azerbaijan for about 400 km, but we never stopped a car with Russian license plates! Although there are a lot of DPS crews on the streets of the capital (YPX in Azerbaijani), we counted 12 pickets on the way to Georgia. The money set aside for bribes remained intact (I had to exchange manats for rubles again at the border). Probably, when you drive a brand new BMW (a regular car of the traffic police) and earn more than many fellow citizens, self-esteem does not allow you to stoop to requisitions. Moreover, a quarter of official fines are returned to the traffic police in the form of additional profit. In general, the Azerbaijani policeman went much further from the Baku policeman than we expected. Although, they say, they still take bribes. Maybe we are "out of luck"?
Baku is the largest and, apparently, the richest city in the Caucasus. And what do you want - it costs oil, bathes in oil! The old city of Icheri Sheher, familiar to everyone from the films Amphibian Man and The Diamond Arm, is surrounded by skyscrapers from all sides. We were on the eve of Eurovision (“The Olympics can be bought, but the right to Eurovision can only be honestly won,” the Baku people are proud), when the construction of the world's longest embankment was completed. And a “bonfire” from three towers of the business center blazed over the city …
Head of the State Traffic Police of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Major General Ramiz Zeynalov:
- Did we manage to make a modern traffic police from the traffic police? It is very difficult to answer unequivocally. We try to meet all the requirements for traffic police. Not just a change of sign: one of the main tasks is to instill in citizens a culture of compliance with traffic rules, to make it a habit. While the driving culture in the country is lame, the European is still far away. Last year alone, our employees revealed 892 thousand violations of the rules of the road, 18 thousand cases of drunk driving. Over 100 thousand drivers were punished for speeding, 13 thousand for overtaking.
- On the way to the border with Georgia, we drove 12 posts and pickets of the traffic police. We have not been stopped even once! This is such an attitude - do not touch foreigners? Or do they only catch intruders?
- It is very nice to hear such a question, because several years ago completely different things were said about us. You know, now is not the time to punish people just like that, without breaking. Firstly, CCTV cameras are installed everywhere. Secondly, citizens, especially young ones, have become much more educated and are well aware of their rights (although often this does not prevent them from breaking the rules). And without a reason, the police have not stopped anyone for a long time, and for it there is no difference - compatriots or foreigners are traveling. By the way, citizens of other countries do not make any concessions. And we are always happy to guests!
The Baku authorities bought several thousand brand new London cabs (albeit assembled in China) in order to finally oust the "bombs" from the streets, of which there were many before.
There are about 1.1 million passenger cars in the country's fleet. If you do not take into account the capital, flooded with "Mercedes", the most common car - white "Lada", and tuned: all the windows are tightly tinted. And the rear springs are cut into a couple of turns, which is why even empty “fives” - “sixes” - “sevens” glide over, as if recalling a difficult load (as in this photo).
What a puddle one of the authors got into when, without looking at the press release, he was broadcasting about a 2-liter diesel at a gas station! Well, he goes perfectly, and this was the first gas station, which still did not allow to evaluate the economy. In fact, the working volume is one and a half liters. Eight valves, turbocharged, 90 hp and 200 N · m oppose 1375 kg of curb weight and two more people with things - it turns out an interesting and quick fight without any dishonest tricks like a turboyama. Unless in six programs you get confused at first.
Not BMW police and not cheap fuel aroused envy in us, but an intelligent transport system, which Baku created with the help of Korean specialists. It controls traffic lights, buses, video surveillance, etc. - as a result, over the first six months, the average speed increased from 30 to 45 km / h, and four times as many cars passed through some streets. Specialists of the control center - all young people with higher education - now and then get lost in English. Their manners and Baku drivers who park much worse than they drive …
Azerbaijani manat is approximately equal to the euro, and Baku prices are close to Moscow. But fuel is cheaper than in Russia: diesel costs about 20 rubles per liter, A95 - 24 rubles. The salary of a simple traffic policeman, by the way, is from 400 to 1 thousand manats (in rubles - consider yourself). Plus a premium.
“Borjomi”, “Kindzmarauli”, khachapuri, for experienced motorists - “Colchis” … Today, Georgia has another brand that is widely known outside its borders. This is a reform of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and, in particular, the traffic police. After listening to the stories of our colleagues, we sought in Tbilisi, like in a fairy tale, to test it with personal experience. And now - Tiflis beneath me …
Police in Georgia do not take a paw. At all. They do not hide, but patrol roads and streets (at night they specially designate themselves to be switched on by a “chandelier”). They are not afraid. We do not know how much they are loved, but certainly respected. And, most importantly, they trust. The posts are similar to aquariums, as is the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs itself - they visibly implement the concept of transparency. GAI really dispersed in 2004, and the number of all police was reduced by a factor of three. The accident rate, you will not believe, is declining. And one more thing: now cars in Georgia are not stealing. You can transfer your rights in half an hour, register a car in 20 minutes. The tale has come true.
We traveled around Tbilisi, drove from one border to another, clocked up 500 km, and passed six police posts. We saw a dozen patrol Skoda and one Prius. They did not pay the slightest attention to us. You have to break the rules so that you can be stopped. In this case, they communicate with the driver only under a video camera. Like in Austria. However, police reform has not yet reached all ordinary drivers, so they drive "in Georgian", not too reckoning with each other. And pedestrians in Tbilisi are simply risking their lives: if you take a Moscow zebra habit, rather hear the screech of brakes from the Opel, which is not clear from where, than the hospitable "Well done, come!"
We were lucky: drove along the famous Georgian Military Highway. This is 208 km of some kind of fairy tale! It begins at Tbilisi, along the Kura shore it passes to the confluence with Aragvi (oh, what words!), Then it rises along the Baydarka River gorge to the Cross Pass (2400 m). Crosses the Rocky Range - and ahead of us is our Terek and Vladikavkaz. The road was opened recently after a long break, and in some places, to be honest, it is in such a state that it is just right to meet a sad procession with the body of the murdered Griboedov. But it allows you to test the car ("Duster" - well done!), Yourself (also nothing), the Georgian border service (five minutes for all formalities) and the Russian (deserves a separate story).
The Georgians simply liquidated those structures where corruption could not be defeated: fire control, sanitary and epidemiological station, inspection … And the procedures that were related to servicing citizens were transferred to commercial rails. The issuance of rights, registration documents for cars is handled by the Service Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs; all actions are subject to stringent regulations (including time). The numbers are issued by a computer. Exams for obtaining rights last about 30 minutes. We checked it personally - everyone received a driver’s license. Yes, the exam is not difficult and, perhaps, then the beginner will have a hard time on the road. Is it easy for our graduates of driving schools?
Despite the fact that the Georgian Military Highway was closed for passage for about four years, both sides built modern crossings.
Intelligent transport system works in Tbilisi. Checked - buses go exactly on schedule!
Head of the Service Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Colonel Levan Sonadze:
- We have not had a traffic police for a long time, the patrol service deals with all problems on the roads. Moreover, issues related to traffic take only 40–45% of the time - patrols monitor order, resolve domestic conflicts, etc. And the Service Center is responsible for registering cars, issuing driver’s licenses and other permits. We have 11 agencies throughout Georgia; only the central office in Rustavi (almost on the outskirts of Tbilisi) lets in about 3, 500 people a day. For example, the entire process of registering a car takes 15–20 minutes. Do not believe? Come on, I'll show you everything!
Here the inspector inspects the car, checks the compliance of numbers and documents; data goes to a computer network. Another inspector, the registrar, has access to the base of tax and customs services, he conducts an audit in a few seconds. You can pay customs duties or pay off some debt right there, at the bank branch. The inspector has notary rights, so the purchase and sale transaction is certified on the spot, a document is issued. And a certified copy in any language!
Want to get a regular license plate? It costs 70 GEL. You can choose a combination yourself, but it will be more expensive. The most expensive option is seven “sevens”, it costs 10 thousand lari. For some reason, no one has ordered yet.
As you say, you have called such a system - the principle of a single window? I don’t know … Rather, it is a conveyor designed to make people comfortable. And at first we made a working scheme, and then described it in law. That is, there is only one conclusion: it is necessary to adapt laws to a convenient service, and not vice versa.
We do not have official relations with Georgia, so the exchange rate is not indicated anywhere. But at the border they change 1 lari for 17 rubles. Gasoline and diesel fuel are very expensive: about 40 rubles per liter, but to eat, drink and live in Tbilisi can be much cheaper than in Moscow.
A policeman who serves on the road, in a city, in a village, receives from 800 to 2 thousand lari (13.6–34 thousand rubles), which is very, very good by Georgian standards. Add full health insurance for the whole family and the prospect of an excellent pension - and you will understand why they do not take bribes. Although, of course, the fear of being caught by a special inspection and put on trial also plays a role.
THROW EVERYTHING, LEAVE TO THE MOTHERLAND
So, a dozen pickets in Azerbaijan, six posts in Georgia and a dozen patrols - but the police did not find a single reason to talk with Muscovites! Well, at home, we thought, they would happily “receive” us. And they were not mistaken. On the first Russian section of the track, on the Rostov-Baku highway and further to Kalmykia, 37 posts and pickets were counted. In the area of Kavminvod, their density reaches, it seems, 1 cop per kilometer, which does not eliminate the giant traffic jam. Farther - less, and in the Volgograd region, where the photo was taken, DPS is as rare as decent sections of the road. Beauty!
They told us a lot about police reform - we can only say what we ourselves saw. The GAI pickets are getting smaller as they move away from the Caucasus, and they seem to really catch intruders, not travelers with non-local numbers. It is understandable: the number of DPS has decreased quite strongly. In the Uryupinsky regional department of the traffic police, which now serves two districts - one and the next, there are 14 traffic police inspectors; at the same time, only two crews patrol roads. MREO works like this: four days in Uryupinsk, another two days in the village of Novonikolaevsky, a neighboring district center. And they’re doing it! The Uryupinsky regional department even a few years ago was awarded the new Hyundai car for reducing the accident rate. Or maybe all for the better? At least they do not touch the passers in vain.
Kalmykia turned out to be not a “fierce” one at all, but a kind republic, with endless steppes and hospitable employees at the rare posts of the traffic police. At our request, they demonstrated "armament" - in the trunk of the patrol "Priora" were found all the necessary devices (including the handheld) to identify and punish the offender. However, here the greatest danger is a dream that overcomes on a monotonous road, and a device that can detect a yawning driver for several miles has not yet been invented.
The head of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate for the Republic of Kalmykia, Colonel Vladimir Raev:
- Now for the entire Kalmykia there are 172 traffic police inspectors (the territory of the republic - 500 per 600 km). And it was twice as much! Of course, keeping track of all roads is difficult, especially since Dagestan transit passes through the republic - the flow of trucks from Makhachkala to Volgograd and further to Moscow. Their drivers and cars work for wear and tear: in the summer, drivers often fall asleep from overwork, and in the winter, our inspectors always bring large thermoses with tea with them - to solder those freezing in the steppe (if the old KamAZ, God forbid, breaks). By the way, transit countries provide us with most of the accidents (in total, 477 happened in the republic last year). By the way, recently they found two “chords” hijacked in Moscow - they were hidden in a wagon among boxes with electric bulbs.
To monitor at least the main tracks, we install video cameras. In a good way, you need a helicopter, but this is a pipe dream. Our other suggestion seems more real: to stick pieces of a reflective film on the horns of all cattle. Our republic is agricultural, animals often go on the road and cause accidents. So this is not only a joke.
Both authors love to travel and are slightly annoyed when the road comes to an end. Especially this time: I liked the car almost to a quarrel - who is taking someone to the house and, therefore, who is taking the Duster for the weekend? Two of the highlights: overtaking in Kalmykia, when it was necessary to put pressure and the car easily scored 140 km / h, and there was still a reserve under the pedal, and the final turning over of the board computer menu: average consumption - 6.5 l / 100 km. Counting on paper added 10%, but this is an excellent result. By the way, in Transcaucasia, while driving a little slower, the flow rate did not exceed 6 liters. In general, we had something to tell the lama in the main Buddhist temple in Elista, when it turned out that he was a big fan of “Driving” and was dreaming about “Duster”. It is a pity, he will have to wait a long time for his car, and not for reasons of faith and not because of finances (by the way, a car with a diesel engine costs from 607 thousand rubles, with options run up to 700 thousand). The line-up for Duster is still very long and is hardly shortened by the release of this material … Checked by ZR.
Behind 2960 km, 60 Russian pickets and traffic police posts, a dozen Azerbaijani, six Georgian. We were stopped twice, both times in Russia: in North Ossetia and in the Stavropol Territory. The first time they pecked at the numbers, checked the documents and released. The second time they tried to breed according to the classical scheme. At the Mineralnye Vody airport area, the car was stopped by a traffic police picket. Two gallant captains, apparently, were interested in the Moscow numbers of Duster - there were no other reasons. After carefully checking all the documents (suddenly something is wrong?), The driver was invited to the traffic police car, where one of the captains kindly asked kindly: “But did you drink last night? I understand, a business trip … " He made such visits at least three times, but three times the driver said a firm “no” and offered the servant, if he does not believe, to go for an examination. He, however, all promised "to find something if you yourself do not admit." Moral: be firm! In the end, the captains wished us a happy journey and quickly left in the opposite direction. Apparently, to catch less confident drivers in another place … And now the question is: how many times, in your opinion, would a car with Azerbaijani or Georgian license plates brake in Russia? Since we started the journey as a kind of police test, let’s, as always does the ZR, allocate seats.
Georgian police patrol. The reform brought the service to the European level, both in terms of functionality, honesty, and how citizens treat employees.
Road service of the Azerbaijani police. The police are far behind, but about halfway to the real defenders of order, like from books and movies.
Russian traffic police. These two captains-ment have got to us (you will not tell in another way)! We talked with completely different people, real policemen (Colonel Raev, Captain Karpov, we are talking about you - and not only about you). Honestly, they were afraid that they would slow us down more often and extort bribes more rudely. Only two stops, one unpleasant bargaining is already good. But not enough. The reform stalled, most likely recalling a change in signage and a reduction in numbers, rather than fundamental changes. Therefore, no matter how sad it is to record the loss of “your team”, you have to do it.
I wonder when we take revenge?
But in general - aren't we good fellows that we went ?
ROADS WHICH WE CHOOSE
Our route on Russian territory passed through several large (and not so) routes. First, we drove along the M29 "Caucasus" highway (Rostov-on-Don - the border with Azerbaijan), then along regional roads (P264, P263) - from Mineralnye Vody to Elista. Further, the path lay along the M6 Caspian federal highway - to the intersection with the M4 Don highway already in the Moscow region.
The saddest memories are from the Caspian highway; the most difficult sections are from Volgograd to the border of the Moscow region. This road was built in Khrushchev’s time at an accelerated pace (surrendered ahead of schedule) with terrible violations of technology; its foundation does not meet the requirements of even that time, there is nothing to say about modern loads. Numerous annual repairs came down to patching the roadway, and it is not surprising that the M6 highway is one of the most emergency in the country. Last winter, the highway survived with great difficulty. Now the road workers have thoroughly taken up the repair: work is going on in several places at once. Therefore, quite often the road, already not too wide, narrows. Moreover, four bridges are put in order at once, which are narrowed to one (!) Lane; they organized a reverse movement. It is clear that the old bridges must be repaired, but, I'm afraid, in the summer there will be huge traffic jams. So we recommend that you carefully read the repair schedule before departure (see below) and, if possible, choose a detour. Experienced drivers are advised to move along the M4 “Don” highway, although this will lengthen the path.
REPAIR WORKS ON THE M6 highway in 2012
The table opens in full size at the click of the mouse.
Our separate “fi” is to the authorities of the hero city of Volgograd. Honestly, at the end of April, when we were traveling through it (alas, you can’t go round the city), we decided that after the German bombing, the roads weren’t repaired here: pits half a meter deep, ditches, potholes … (Great thanks to our “Duster” and its creators unkillable suspension!) And also in the city through which the most important federal highway passes, there are no signs at all, or they lead to the wrong place. For example, at the entrance to the city from the side of Elista, several signs "to Moscow" actually lead to a secondary road, which, making a loop of 30 km … returns almost to the same point. In general, the road workers of the hero city worked!
As we are promised, by 2018 (when Russia will host the World Cup), the road will be completely put in order.