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Owners of expensive cars may pay increased fines

August 09, 2013, 10:44 UTC+3

Experts argue whether this will improve traffic situation

1 pages in this article

A bill instituting a progressive scale of fines for violation of traffic rules has been introduced in the State Duma lower house of parliament. It is proposed to impose higher fines on the owners of expensive cars. The amendments will affect the owners of the cars the value of which exceeds 3 million roubles. Russia’s traffic police (GIBDD) and the United Russia party have already opposed this idea.

“Fines within the range of 100 to 5,000 roubles are insignificant for the owners of luxury cars. It's a trifle sum for millionaires, therefore the drivers of Porsches, Aston Martins and Bentleys continue to violate the rules,” MP from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Mikhail Degtyaryov told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. The lawmaker proposes to apply a multiplication factor to the fines: for the cars with the value under 1 million roubles he proposes to keep the old fines, for the cars with the value of 3 to 5 million roubles - to increase the fines several times, and for the cars with the value of over 5 million roubles - to increase the fines drastically. The LDPR member says that such penalties will not affect the absolute majority of citizens, because many Russians own inexpensive cars.

The traffic police and the State Duma did not support the LDPR initiative. “It’s all the same to the traffic accident victim which car runs him over - a Bentley or a Zhiguli (Lada/VAZ),” the traffic police told the Kommersant daily. “An offender should be punished in any case. In addition, it is extremely difficult to evaluate a car right on the road for a traffic policeman when he is making a decision to impose a fine on the spot.” The newspaper notes that according to the bill, the cars’ value will be determined by the RF Ministry of Industry and Trade - the price lists are to be posted on the ministry’s website. “Options alone rather often make half of a car price,” the traffic police added.

Viktor Klepikov, the President of the Federation of Russian Car Owners (FAR), a grass-roots advocacy group, told the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper: “Increased fines for the owners of expensive cars in themselves will not improve the road situation. If a person has money to buy an expensive car, he will also find it to pay a fine. It’s the conduct of drivers that should be changed, the problem should be solved in totality. Germany’s experience in this sphere is exemplary. A driver is sent there to a driving school for a serious violation of traffic rules. He undergoes retraining there during a month under the guidance of a driving instructor and a psychologist. After that he will be allowed to drive again. It is necessary to aspire nor for increasing fines, but for changing the drivers’ behaviour pattern.”

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