Road fines to drive motorists five times crazier

Parking your car in the wrong place or going over the speed limit may soon put a much bigger dent in your wallet – especially in the Russian capital.

Russia’s parliament is considering amendments to the law that would make traffic fines in Moscow five times costlier than the Russian average.

Thus, illegal parking in Moscow and St. Petersburg will cost an offender $230. Drivers in any other Russian city will pay about $50. The maximum fine for illegal parking is currently $10.

Once the new regulation is adopted, the two cities will have the highest parking fines on the planet.

The harsher fines will also affect those parking on bridges and junctions.

Officials say the move is motivated by “the harsh transport situation in both cities.”

Moscow drivers are far from happy about the forthcoming legislation. They say that its only aim is to give the police one more pretext to shake money from the population.

“A policeman spends a week around a street in central Moscow, and then buys a new flat on the outskirts,” a Russian blogger was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Drivers argue that the main reason why they violate parking rules is the lack of parking space in the capital.

There are currently 3.5 million cars registered in Moscow, and this figure is growing by 3% every year. The city, though, can provide parking space for only 30% of the vehicles.

Lawyer Igor Trunov told the Kommersant newspaper that makiing residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg pay higher fines than in other cities is contrary to the country’s constitution, which guarantees equality betweencitizens wherever they reside.

“There are rich people both in the capital and in the regions,” Viktor Travin, president of the Moscow Committee for Drivers’ Rights Protection, was quoted as saying by Kommersant.

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