How can you tell when there's an election coming?
Easy; cheap political stunts get pulled. Following a 62 car pile up in Krasnodar VVP ordered that the roads be made safer. Not quite sure what he had in mind; though a couple of turret mounted chain guns might help, meanwhile Boris Gryzlov, the Duma Speaker, and a couple of other Deputies have voluntarily handed in their blue lights.
For those readers not located in the traffic mayhem that is Moscow; a blue flashing light means that none, that's none, of the traffic laws apply - ever. As the city slowly crawls to a traffic standstill, being forced to a halt by a blue light, with the aforementioned official's girlfriend going shopping, because it prefers your lane helps plumb the depths of my vocabulary.
Maybe Gryzlov noticed that only 2% of the population thought it appropriate that Duma Deputies should have blue lights. Surprisingly for such a supine populace, only 15% thought it appropriate that VVP himself had blue flashing lights. Not that it makes much difference as he has the roads closed. So whether he is breaking the law does not really matter.
Here's hoping for other useful political stunts.
Apparently the fine for illegally owning a blue light is a mighty RUR2,500 - which is currently $95. Got to admit its pretty tempting.
[composed and posted with ecto]