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Drivers: Discounts on traffic fines must be differentiated

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Earlier, the State Duma has approved in the 1st reading a bill which stipulated a 50-percent discount on a fine if the payment was made within 10 days. The initiative – despite being very liberal in nature – has opponents too. Mariya Tikhonova with the details.

Parking on the sidewalk – 1500 rubles instead of 3000. Driving past the stop-line – 400 rubles, not 800. Not giving priority to a pedestrian – 750 instead of 1500.

Not only shopaholics in Russia can now think of half-split prices, but drivers as well. A hot season on traffic fines discounts is coming to the country. Conditions are very lenient – if you pay the fine within 10 days since the violation and it will be discounted by 50%. The bill has passed the 1st reading in the State Duma. The initiative made many drivers happy.

Mariya Tikhonova, reporter: “One wont need to go far for an example. Here is, for instance, the work of a TV crew. You either come to a shooting and have nowhere to park, or either late to the studio – live air cant wait. So you as your colleague to hurry up and violate the rules, in reasonable quantities of course. And in case he’s fined, he’ll pay out of his pocket”

Petr Egorshin is not a repeat offender. He does not recall the last time he was fined. He thinks that if you got caught, then why not saving a little money? But the approach should be differentiated.

Petr Egorshin, driver: “There has to be a difference made. There are people who park their cars at pedestrian crossings or put their car in a second row – just to go to a shop to have a look at something. And that’s while they had other places to park their car, only a bit further. They deserve a full fine”

The idea of discounted fines, according to legislators, will allow quicker and bigger gains, just as offloading a lot of work from many state bodies. For instance, a third of bailiff’s cases are about recollection of administrative fines. Around half of violators are evading payments. Bailiffs support the initiative and are even calling for more leniency. They suggest extending the discount period from 10 days to a month.

Artur Parfenchikov, Russia’s Chief Bailiff: “We think 10 days is not enough. Moreover, last year – with our expert support – the period for voluntary fine payment was extended to 60 days. That’s why we think that half of this term – 30 days – would be eligible for a discount”

The discount concept was borrowed from abroad. For instance, in England one can save between 40 and 75 pounds if the fine is paid within 2-3 weeks. Around a month is given to drivers in Republic of South Africa, Italy and Spain to pay the fine with a 50% discount. Despite the positive feedback abroad, there are those in Russia who oppose the idea.

Dmitriy Popov, auto expert: “There could be a huge number of humorous analogies here. Lets alter the Criminal Code then. Those who kill a granny, but came voluntarily within three days will spent half a term behind bars. Its funny isn’t it”

Authors of the bill point to an important nuance. Discounts for driving fines will not be unlimited.

Vyacheslav Lysakov, State Duma deputy: “If a man made a mistake once, but quickly paid the fine – he will get a 50% discount and pay half of it. If he makes the same violation again – depending on the violation – there are additional sanctions, up to revoking his driver’s license. That’s why violating repeatedly and getting discounts will not work”

Nevertheless, before the bill becomes law, the deputies will have to do a lot of additional work on it. To put it in bold letters – how drivers would be able to instantly know of their fine if, for example, their violation was spotted by a CCTV camera. Besides, the fine invoice will have to be changed too. A new line will have to be added – a consent to pay only 50% of the sum.

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