President Vladimir Putin’s Limousine Draws Complaint From Activists
A motorist group claims that the limousine that transported Russian President Vladimir Putin during his recent inaugural celebrations was in violation of the law and should be fined like any other vehicle on Russia’s roadways. After winning an unprecedented third term in office, Putin was recently transported throughout Moscow in a sleek black limo that did not have the required front license plate. His motorcade included his limo, police motorcycles, black minivans and lots of security personnel. The Blue Buckets, a Russian motorist rights society, have issued a complaint wondering how so many law enforcement personnel could overlook such an obvious disregard for the law.
The Blue Buckets have asked that the driver of the presidential limo be located and fined like any other driver without the required front license plate. Moscow police took their time reacting to the complaint and explained that the president’s limo was not in violation of the law. They said that the limo could drive on Moscow streets without the license plate because the streets had been cleared of all traffic for the newly elected president. A spokesman for the State Traffic Inspection Administration said that because there was no regular traffic present, normal "traffic rules did not apply."
He said that the occasion was like a motor race or Victory Day Parade on Red Square and added, "In these cases there is no regular traffic, and military hardware and racing cars drive without license plates."
By law, Moscow police are required to respond to complaints within one month. However, a Blue Buckets spokesperson told the Russian press that Moscow police were also in violation, as it took them more than two months to respond to the complaint. The group maintains that empty streets or not, the limo driver should be found and pay the 5,000 rubles ($150) fine or have his or her license suspended for three months like any other driver. The Putin administration has not responded to the complaint.
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