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Polite Driving to be Codified

A State Traffic Safety Inspectorate officer prepares to pull someone over. Sergei Porter

A bill has been brought to the State Duma to introduce the concept of "aggressive driving," prescribing fines for those who violate the new rules, but opponents aren't sure how viable such a rule would be.

It is targeted at drivers who brake or accelerate too sharply, or who don't maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Fines of up to 5,000 rubles ($170) could be meted out to violators, Kommersant reported Thursday.

The bill was introduced by LDPR deputy Yaroslav Nilov, who cited reckless driving laws in the U.S. where California state law provides for one to be arrested for 90 days and given a penalty of $1,000.

But not everyone is convinced that exactly who is in violation of the rules would be easy to define.

"Who will determine whether or not a maneuver was done dangerously of safely? Whether or not the driver made a sharp deceleration or smooth one? I don't see any way to administer these violations," United Russia deputy Vyacheslav Lysakov told Kommersant.

Former State Traffic Safety Inspectorate head Vladimir Fyodorov agreed, explaining that the equivalent Soviet law was repealed because of difficulties associated with the understanding of violations creating safety hazards.

But Nilov said such a problem did not exist, arguing that witness testimony and video recorders installed on civilian and police cars would be sufficient to judge a driving maneuver.

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