The Constitutional court has today began checking legality of parts of Administrative Code related to road violations.
It was sparked by an inquiry of 90 State Duma deputies. They believe that the difference of fines between the capital and the regions is violating social equality. Is there a violation? Our reporters gathered opinions of authorities, statesmen and traffic policemen
Nikolay Rastvortsev, reporter: “Today’s session of the Constitutional Court took place even despite that its initiators – State Duma deputies – didn’t turn up. The other side – presidential envoys, representatives of the Federation Council, Interior Ministry, administrations of St. Petersburg and Moscow agreed: the increased fines do not violate the country’s Constitution”
Illegal parking, driving on a public transport lane, violation of driving regulations within a populated area and negligence of heavy transport entrance prohibitions – unlike in small towns or villages, only one of such violations may make matters even worse for the already congested roads in a big city. That’s why fines in Moscow and St. Petersburg differ. And sanctions relate to all drivers – regardless of gender, nationality, place of residence and other criteria.
However, reality proves that so far the scale of the fine hasn’t scared car owners. Alexandra Lee made sure of that.
Nowhere to drive through on a car in the middle of a working day. Such picture is typical for the Petrogradka, and the most common excuse to present to traffic policeman is “I stopped literally for 2 minutes”. In Moscow and St. Petersburg these 2 minutes could lead to a loss of 6 thousand rubles if your car is towed away.
Dmitriy Vinokurov, officer of St. Petersburg traffic police special battalion: “One goes to a shop or on any other business. The car is eventually moved and this costs one money and hassle. That’s why on this occasion she got away easy”
Getting away easy would save you at least 3 thousand rubles: 2700 a towing charge and around 300 for parking space.
A tow car driver is a busy man in St. Petersburg – he tows away around 20 cars per day.
This driver who parked his car on a pedestrian crossing was lucky to get away with a fine. 3 thousand rubles. This, however, is twice more than in other regions of the country. In Samara or Krasnoyarsk he would have paid 1000-1500, even less in his hometown of Tbilisi.
Dmitriy Vinokurov, officer of St. Petersburg traffic police special battalion: “I think its fair for St. Petersburg. Our citizens often leave their cars – like here, on the corner – and a trolleybus would not be able to turn. Same goes for Karpovka – cars are being left on tramway rails. I even think it is a cheap punishment for such cases”.
By the way, similar proposals have been voice within the Constitutional Court. President’s envoy not only says the fine is fair and justified. Mikhail Krotov even said it should be increased – to teach drivers a lesson.
Mikhail Krotov, President’s envoy: “So that they understand that its not a fee to pay for parking in a certain place, but and administrative offense. It needs to be increased until a driver understands – it is better to stick to traffic rules and not commit a conscious offense”
Nikolay Rastvortsev, reporter: “Having listened to points of both sides, the judges adjourned the session. The Administrative Code will remain unchanged for at least another month, while deliberations continue. The case will be heard behind closed doors and the Court will inform of the decision”