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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Red Light for VIP 'Migalki'

MTTraffic police checking the documents of the driver of a car sporting a VIP blue light Tuesday morning on Leningradsky Prospekt.
The traffic police launched a crackdown Tuesday on the use of blue flashing lights on cars that enable bureaucrats to ignore traffic laws and rule Moscow's roads, Interfax reported.

Traffic police began checking the documents of drivers using the lights on Leninsky Prospekt, Leningradsky Prospekt, Kutuzovsky Prospekt and Taganskaya Ploshchad, Interfax said.

The police action follows a decree signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on Jan. 24 ordering a crackdown on the use of special flashing lights and VIP license plates from the beginning of April.

In accordance with the decree, the number of civil servants permitted to use migalki, or flashing lights, has been reduced from 1,800 to 600. Officials hope the move will also put a stop to the long-standing black market for documents allowing the use of the blue lights.

Those still allowed to use blue lights on their cars include the heads of the security services, federal ministries and a number of large companies such as Gazprom, Unified Energy Systems and Rosenergoatom.