Moscow: Vladimir Putin, who dashed through the empty streets of Moscow on his inauguration day as Russian president in a black limousine without a front license plate, has invited a traffic complaint, RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday.
His limousine was accompanied by black minivans, and police on motorcycles. Video of the motorcade was transmitted live by the country's prime television channels.
But it prompted activists of the country's Blue Buckets motorist rights society to file a complaint with the traffic police, asking it to find and punish the driver of the limousine in question.
On Tuesday, Moscow police clarified President Putin had a right to ride a limousine without a front license plate on his inauguration day (May 7) because all other traffic was blocked.
Since there was no regular traffic, said a spokesman for the State Traffic Inspection Administration, "traffic rules did not apply".
It was like a motor race or Victory Day Parade on Red Square, he said, adding: "In these cases there is no regular traffic, and military hardware and racing cars drive without license plates."
Motorists driving without a license plate can be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($150) or lose their license for one to three months.
City police took more than two months instead of the required one to reply to the complaint, an activist said in the Blue Buckets' LiveJournal community blog Sunday.
First Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 18:27