Russian driver punished for racing government car

The Russian Emergencies Minister’s driver was disciplined on Sunday after a video appeared on the Internet of him using a government vehicle to race another car on the Moscow ring road, an Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman said.

The Mercedes in the video is driving so fast, it comes close to veering off the road.

“When the incident took place, only the driver was in the car,” the spokeswoman said. “There was no need for the driver to hurry. He has been punished for misbehavior.”

She did not specify how the driver had been disciplined.

The misuse of government vehicles is a source of much public anger. A growing protest movement calls for the government to ban flashing blue lights, which allow important officials to bypass traffic, often at dangerously high speeds.

In February 2010, two women died when their car crashed head on with a chauffeur-driven Mercedes carrying Anatoly Barkov, the vice president of oil firm LUKoil.

Presidential Administration head Vladimir Kozhin said at the end of April that over 900 officials drive cars with flashing blue lights in Moscow.

MOSCOW, May 15 (RIA Novosti)

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