Blue-light bust: vice governor caught abusing special signals

A top St. Petersburg official has been caught using a fake police light to bypass traffic regulations.

Lyudmila Kostkina, the vice governor of St. Petersburg, was one of many offenders caught illegally displaying emergency lights on her car.

She was stopped during a recent round of spot checks and the fake light was removed.

The FSB has confiscated dozens of fake permits, IDs and lights being used illegally, both in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

The Ministry of the Interior says offenders must face prosecution if this type of fraud is to be stamped out.

In early October, police in Moscow also confiscated 10 illegally installed car-roof flashlights during a sting operation. More than 160 fake documents, including IDs and driving licenses, were taken away.

In recent months, as the traffic situation in Moscow has gotten worse and worse, the issue of the illegal use of blue lights has repeatedly attracted public attention.

There have been numerous cases of violent collisions between officials whose cars are equipped with flashing lights and ordinary drivers refusing to give way to such vehicles.

The situation inspired outraged drivers to create the “Blue Buckets” movement. Its activists collect evidence against blue-lights abusers and file complaints with different state bodies.

The activists insist that only emergency services, such as ambulances, fire, police and rescue vehicles, should be entitled to use the lights.

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