The Moscow city government plans to penalize a construction company whose employee allegedly posed as a police officer, waving a baton and blowing a whistle in an attempt to resolve traffic gridlock in southwest Moscow, Russian media reports said Tuesday.
The man, dressed in a tracksuit but bearing a police baton and a whistle, was seen directing traffic at the intersection of Prospekt Vernadskogo and Lomonosovsky Prospekt — near Moscow State University — from which gridlock stretched for three kilometers Tuesday, Interfax news agency reported.
When asked to identify himself, the man claimed to be an employee of the construction firm reconstructing the intersection's underground pedestrian crossing, the report said.
Moscow's news portal M24.ru blamed the construction works for causing the rush hour traffic jam, and said city authorities are investigating the incident.
“We are obliged to respond to such things,” deputy mayor and head of the Moscow department of transport and road infrastructure Maxim Liksutov was quoted by M24 as saying.
“We have no right to detain this man — that's the jurisdiction of the police,” he said, adding that the city administration has filed reports with the government's construction watchdog and the police, demanding that the construction firm responsible for the underground crossing “brings order to its site.”
The authorities will impose a serious administrative fine on the contractor following the incident, Liksutov said, M24 reported.