traffic regulation,control of the movement of vehicles and pedestrians, chiefly on city streets. Formal regulation of motor vehicle traffic was instituted in New York City in 1903; a set of Rules for Driving was issued by the police commissioner, and a traffic squad was formed. Similar systems were soon adopted in cities all over the world. Since that time, as the volume of traffic has increased, a variety of control mechanisms have been developed to regulate the safe flow of traffic.
activity that ensures high-speed traffic flow and the safety of all concerned. The Convention on Road Traffic, Signs, and Signals—an international agreement that reflects the most advanced know-how in traffic regulation in the European countries—was adopted at the UN Conference in Vienna in 1968. The USSR was among the signatories.
The main trends in traffic-regulation work in the USSR are driver and pedestrian training; the use of persuasion and, where necessary, compulsion to produce compliance with the Traffic Regulations; improvement of road conditions and vehicles; and control of road traffic. A number of requirements are imposed on drivers, pedestrians, and passengers; in the USSR the requirements are formulated in the Traffic Regulations and other normative documents. For example, anyone who has reached the age of 18 and has passed tests at the State Motor Vehicle Inspectorate on the theory and practice of driving may become a motor-vehicle driver. In addition, each driver must pass a medical examination. The increasing density of traffic and the growing complexity of conditions on the roads have made it necessary to teach pedestrians the elementary safety rules as well; not only drivers but also all other participants in traffic have civil responsibility for violation of traffic rules; if a violation has serious consequences, the violator may be held criminally responsible. A course in the Traffic Regulations is given at general-educational schools.
Explanatory and educational work carried on by such means as the mass media is also part of traffic regulation.
The Construction Standards and Rules, according to which the country’s road network is planned and built, and also the safety standards in motor-vehicle design, are of great importance for proper traffic regulation. They ensure that necessary technical steps are taken to improve road conditions and the design of vehicles. Traffic-regulation measures are also part of standard plans for construction in population centers. Motor vehicles must meet requirements that help prevent accidents (steering, brake system, and so on), and also requirements for passive safety equipment, which reduces the severity of consequences when an accident is unavoidable. Vehicles are checked by the State Motor Vehicle Inspectorate.
In the USSR, traffic regulation relies on studies of the rules of the road and takes into account prospects for the development of motor-vehicle transportation.
V. V. LUK’IANOV