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22 May, 2010 09:55

Drivers protest against flashing blue lights of Moscow officials

Car owners in the Russian capital are holding protests over the use of flashing blue lights on the cars of Moscow's top officials.

A rally in the city center was followed by a flash mob involving about 70 cars, reports news agency Interfax, quoting the leader of The Russian Car Owners Federation Sergey Kanaev. The cars are driving along a lane of the Moscow ring road with their hazard lights on. The vehicles are moving at a low speed of no more than 10 kilometers per hour. According to Kanaev, the flash mob will culminate with the drivers putting their cars to form the word “NO”.

As part of an ongoing campaign, recently some drivers in Moscow streets have put blue buckets symbolizing flashing lights on top of their vehicles to draw attention to the issue.

The protestors claim that many vehicles with blue lights carrying high-level personnel use the system simply as a license to ignore road regulations and put others at risk. The activists are demanding that the use of flashing lights should be restricted only to police, firefighting, ambulance and security service vehicles.

The protestors are also campaigning against some amendments, in particular, the recent one proposing the abolition of the minimum alcohol content allowed in the blood of a driver. According to Kanaev, it has been proved that a small amount of alcohol can be found in the organism of practically any person, reports news agency Interfax. Thus the new law, if passed, will give way to dishonest traffic inspectors squeezing money from drivers.

The protests follow the latest in a series of incidents, in which a VIP Mercedes smashed into another car while running a red light in the city center.

The driver has received a fine equivalent to just three dollars.