London Slaps Obama's Motorcade With Fine

Part of ongoing battle over 45K notices handed to US Embassy

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 21, 2011 9:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – Not only did President Obama screw up his toast to the Queen and the date on his signature in the Westminster Abbey guest book during his visit to England in May, he also screwed up traffic protocol. His motorcade apparently failed to pay the $16 congestion charge required when driving in the "Congestion Charging Zone"—and so one of the vehicles has been hit with a $200 fine, reports the USA Today.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg: The fine is part of an ongoing feud between the British government and the US Embassy in London, which apparently has rung up more than $8 million in congestion fines from 45,000 tickets it has received since 2003 but refuses to pay. The US Embassy argues that the Vienna Convention excepts them from all such fines, reports the London Evening Standard.

The US government is being fined $200 by the London Mayor for congestion caused by the presidential motorcade during the President's May visit to England.
The US government is being fined $200 by the London Mayor for "congestion" caused by the presidential motorcade during the President's May visit to England.   (Getty Images)
The US government is being fined $200 for congestion caused by the presidential motorcade during the President's May visit to England.
The US government is being fined $200 for "congestion" caused by the presidential motorcade during the President's May visit to England.   (Getty Images)
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