Rich Russians Take Ambulances to Dodge Traffic

Moscow police say they're looking for fakers

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 25, 2013 4:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – Running late for a meeting in Moscow? You can go online and hire an "ambulance taxi" for $200 an hour or more—a savvy way to cut through the city's notorious traffic jams, the National Post reports. According to a Russian paper, police discovered the ruse when they pulled over a suspicious ambulance: "The driver appeared strange, and did not resemble an ambulance driver at all," a source says. "The interior was fitted out like a high-class limousine with comfortable seats for transporting VIP passengers."

Naturally, the civilians sitting in the back "refused to identify themselves." Behind all this is Moscow's killer downtown traffic, which can include poorly parked cars and occasional police roadblocks set up for official motorcades. Ambulances are a handy workaround, as drivers can scatter traffic with sirens and get businessmen to meetings without being late. Now it's a problem for the police, who say they'll carry out spot-checks on ambulances.

In this Wednesday, March 23, 2011 photo an ambulance is blocked during a rush hour among them in downtown Moscow, Russia.
In this Wednesday, March 23, 2011 photo an ambulance is blocked during a rush hour among them in downtown Moscow, Russia.   (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)
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