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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deputies Flag Down Traffic Cops

Duma deputies and prosecutors are lining up to block traffic police from exercising rights listed in a new set of Interior Ministry rules, including the ability to stop cars arbitrarily, check documents and set speed traps.

The Prosecutor General’s Office and State Duma found that parts of a new body of rules for police conduct, which came into effect Sept. 1, contradicted the Constitution, including an item that would let drunk Duma deputies be barred from driving. On Thursday, deputies will submit a report to Deputy Interior Minister Nikolai Ovchinnikov spelling out their complaints about the new code. A copy of the report was obtained by Vedomosti.

Under the rules, a traffic police officer may stop a vehicle at his own discretion using a loudspeaker, his baton or his hand.

“It’s time to stop giving Interior Ministry employees the right to stop cars at their own discretion and check the documents of the driver and passengers, even at stationary traffic posts,” it says.

Lawmakers also objected to a rule giving police the right to confiscate unsanctioned equipment on their cars, such as flashing lights. Individuals can only have property confiscated with a court’s permission, the deputies said.

They also objected to a rule that would bar officials with immunity from prosecution, such as deputies, judges and prosecutors, from operating a vehicle because of drunk driving violations.