Wealthy Russians hire ambulances to beat traffic

Cars are blocked in a traffic jam in the center of Moscow on Feb. 29, 2012.
John MacDougall

Wealthy Moscow residents are reportedly hiring "ambulance-taxis" to beat the city's terrible traffic jams, The National Post reports.

The vehicles, which can cost more than $200 an hour and have been advertised on the internet, supposedly use their sirens to glide through standstill traffic.

Now police are on the lookout for such vehicles, according to the National Post.

The paper reports:

A law enforcement source told Izvestiya newspaper that one such vehicle had already been identified. “During a patrol, a medical car was stopped because it was breaking traffic rules,” said the source.

“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 traffic in Moscow is notoriously bad. In 2011, officials attempted to double the size of the city to deal with traffic snarls and overcrowding. And this winter, hundreds of cars were stuck in a 120-mile-long jam, some for as long as three days, after heavy snow hit the city.

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