Traffic police have busted five drivers using stolen VIP number plates that permit cars to break traffic rules.
It comes after a group of activists calling themselves “The Federation of Car Owners” tipped off the cops.
They had filmed footage of various violations involving VIP plates and the infamous flashing blue lights. The police have used this information to start criminal cases.
The leader of the activists says it is the first example of traffic cops and ordinary drivers cooperating to fight crime.
In recent years, the blue flashing lights have become one of the main problems on Moscow’s busy roads. The city’s drivers are outraged by the ever-growing number of such “privileged” cars on roads, and often refuse to give way to them.
There has also been a rise in the number of cases of ambulances being exploited as taxis to get through traffic jams.
According to Russian law, the number of such cars cannot exceed 937 – they all must belong to the president’s administration, the government, the law enforcement agencies and the regional authorities.
The Russian government repeatedly promised to tackle the issue. Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov was even put in charge of traffic reforms aimed at combating the abuse of special signals.
Until now, the only real anti-VIP initiative was a police hunt for illegal blue flashing lights. Witnesses reported that even “untouchable” officials and ambulances get checked.
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