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Migrant drivers will pass tests to get Russian driving licenses

July 15, 2013, 4:43 UTC+3

MPs hope to approve this bill already in autumn

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Photo ITAR-TASS Archive

Photo ITAR-TASS Archive

MOSCOW, July 15 (Itar-Tass) - Migrant drivers will have to pass tests to get Russian driving licenses.

A deadly road accident in the Moscow region killing 18 people and injuring other 25 people, when a Kazan truck driven by an Armenian citizen collided with a bus full of passengers, evoked a serious reaction among the State Duma parliamentarians.

The State Duma transport committee told the Izvetia daily that a bill that could have prevented many road accidents is being elaborated at the lower house of parliament.

“The bill will oblige drivers working on a permanent basis to have Russian driving licenses,” the committee’s first deputy head, Mikhail Bryachak, was quoted by the daily as saying. “And those who have already been working with their national driving licenses should undergo necessary training within six months, pass exams and get Russian driving licenses.”

MPs hope to approve this bill already in autumn.

Meanwhile, experts stressed the need for licensing of commercial cargo traffic.

“Today nothing is being licensed in Russia, except for passenger bus traffic,” the chairman of the board of Mezhregionavtogaz, a bus operator, Sergei Khripach, told Izvestia.

The parliamentarian expressed confidence that although a new bill may yield results, corruption and weak control over the issuance of driving licenses will evidently diminish its effectiveness.

“If a migrant bought driving licenses in Armenia or Tajikistan, he will find means to do this in Russia,” Khripach said. “If he honestly passed driving tests, there is no sense to replace license.”

The State Duma also wants to reduce the period for the use of transit plates. Parliamentarian Mikhail Degtyarev proposed to cut this period to 15 days and increase a fine for the first violation to 10,000 roubles and for repeated violation - to deprive of driving license for three years.

According to explanatory notes to the bill, motorists often deliberately do not register their cars using expired transit plates, they do not pay transport taxes and violate traffic rules unpunished.

“The country’s budget under-receives millions of roubles, as motorists evade taxes. It is impossible to find violators, as their cars underwent no registration,” Degtyarev said.

Coordinator at the Blue Buckets Society, Pyotr Shkumatov, noted that higher fines for violating the use of transit plates will not reduce accidents on Russia’s roads. This measure can only improve tax collection.

“It is necessary to bring back a regular, once in six months, obligatory inspection of heavy motor vehicles and public transport,” he said.

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