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19 Aug, 2007 07:02

Soviet Volga car patrols Belarusian city

A classic Soviet car is being used by road traffic police in Belarus to promote careful driving. The patrol vehicle is a Volga, built in the 1960s and still on active duty.

The car is turning a few heads on the streets of the city of Vitebsk.

It took several years to restore it using original parts. The colours are the same as those used in middle of the last century, and the flashing light has also been reclaimed.

Police say the car evokes fond memories among other drivers and improves their moods.

The Vitebsk traffic officers have shown-off the car at several exhibitions in the Belarusian capital Minsk. They say getting the green light from their bosses to use the Volga for routine road patrols wasn't difficult.

“Everyone is taken aback when they see the Volga. They want to get inside and touch the dashboard. We believe using this car is good for everyone,” explained Gennady Podsev, member of road police unit.

To keep with the 1950s' Soviet period officers also wear uniforms of those times. And to top it all, they use original equipment to measure drivers' speed.

The car will hardly keep up in pursuit of a reckless driver but that's not the purpose. It is there to remind people that driving should be like the old Volga – self-confident and calm.