Road Police Appeal To Drivers For Patience

By Shakeh Avoyan

Radio Liberty, Czech Rep.
Aug 13 2007

Officials at Armenia’s road police give assurances that problems
with traffic regulation will be overcome as reforms are carried out
in the sphere.

But until then they appeal to drivers to exercise patience on the
heavily congested streets of Yerevan.

Traffic in the Armenian capital is becoming increasingly chaotic
with a growing number of vehicles on the streets. The situation is
aggravated by the ongoing road repairs on several thoroughfares and
periodical breakdowns of traffic lights at some major crossroads.

Drivers complain that traffic regulators are conspicuously absent
when most gridlocks happen.

But Chief of the Road Police Ishkhan Ishkhanian says they are doing
everything they can to relieve the situation of drivers.

"Yerevan is crucial for us in terms of its traffic. Some 60 percent
of vehicles are registered in the capital," he said. "We will try to
do everything we can using all means available, but we still cannot
prevent traffic congestions at rush hours."

According to Ishkhanian, the reforms are expected to be implemented
in three stages, including the development of the legal framework
and supplying the road police with technical devices.

"In my evaluation, the reforms are well on their way. We should simply
have patience and wait for the results," he said.

"The construction of these subway passages immediately affected the
traffic," one angry driver told RFE/RL. "They should have started
digging it one by one, and not in several streets at a time.

Experienced drivers can cope with this situation, but most people
at the wheel in Yerevan today are not good drivers. They do not give
way to each other, they don’t know and don’t follow the traffic rules."

Another driver vexed at the constant gridlocks said it was the chaos on
the roads that made even disciplined drivers break the rules at times.

"Even if you are a good driver, in these conditions sometimes you
will be forced to break the rules. It is one big mess that cannot be
cleaned up this way."