Putin to Continue Crackdown on Traffic Privileges

Russian Prime Minister and president-elect Vladimir Putin is committed to slashing the number of official cars that use flashing blue lights, allowing them to ignore traffic rules, after his inauguration, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

“All of Vladimir Vladimirovich’s [Putin’s] pledges are fulfilled and will continue to be fulfilled,” Peskov said.

The flashing blue lights, known in Russia as “migalki,” are a symbol of the privileges afforded to Russian bureaucrats who use the lights to speed around Moscow’s ubiquitous traffic jams, which regular drivers spend hours sitting in.

Around 1,000 cars in Moscow are equipped with flashing blue lights, including cars used by governors and lawmakers.

Putin earlier vowed to cut the number of officials entitled to traffic privileges to “a few dozen.”

The abuse of blue lights poses a serious threat to road safety. There have been several high-profile road accidents involving VIP vehicles in Russia in recent years.

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