Fake ambulance-taxis out to beat gridlock

Last updated 12:35 26/03/2013
A Russian ambulance similar to those authorities believe are being fitted out as luxurious taxis in an effort for rich customers to beat traffic jams in Moscow.
Reuters
FARE PLAY: A Russian ambulance similar to those authorities believe are being fitted out as luxurious taxis in an effort for rich customers to beat traffic jams in Moscow.

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Luxuriously-fitted out fake ambulances are being touted as the latest way for the rich get through traffic jams in Moscow.

The "ambulance-taxis" came to the attention of authorities after companies began advertising them on the internet and police have confirmed they are to start random checks.

It seems that for around 6000 roubles (NZ$232) per hour, customers can rent the luxuriously-fitted out "ambulances" that will use their sirens to scatter traffic to get people to events like business meetings on time.

Authorities have already identified one such vehicle with a police spokesman telling the Izvestiya newspaper that a "medical car was stopped because it was breaking traffic rules".

"The driver appeared strange, and did not resemble an ambulance driver at all.

"Police officers opened the automobile to check it and saw that the interior was fitted out like a high-class limousine with comfortable seats for transporting VIP passengers.

The source added that inside the ambulance were "not medical personnel but some people in civilian clothes who refused to identify themselves".

With a lack of restrictions driving in the Moscow city centre, traffic jams are renowned among commuters and the situation is often compounded by police who block numerous roads when the country's leader Vladimir Putin travels.

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