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onlygod
03-09-2009, 23:47
I was in Rostov-na-Donu two weeks ago in rental car, did an illegal U-turn on an empty street with no traffic (well, there was no sign that I can't do it there), but anyway the cops insisted it was illegal, from the start I had a feeling they just wanted money. I had all the papers and it was rental car.
In the end, I had to give him 3000rub bribe to let me go, he was threatning to take my international drivers license (which I didn't really care, cause I can just make a new one) and send this to the courts system etc etc...

What is your experience, I was shocked that I had to bribe him, this was the first time in my life I did something like this. Before that, I only heard stories about this.

What are the fines in Russia, for example, not having seatbelt, driving too fast?
I only take a rental car here and there, I try to avoid driving, but it's hard to get around Russia outside of big cities.

After this experience, I'm always scared to go through those DPS checkpoints whenever you leave or enter a city. :)

tvadim133
04-09-2009, 00:11
They can not take your driving licence untill you are drunk, or passed red light or you passed solid lines.

My advice is not to argue, to let them to write a protocol, to sign that you do not agree with a case.

Ask them to show the rule (the book with rule) where there is a note. what fine and how you may be punished for breaking driving rules.

To write down their numbers (it will be a sign for them you are going to complain).

Then to write a compain.

At any rate you can be fined maximum (and I am sure something about the same ammount of money) but legaly.

Bribe is a thing which all drivers do sometimes but it becomes dangerous for both part (some department of police conduct special stands and this will bring to the jail).

To be afraid of Police is not good. To be confident is better. GAI "feels" your confidence.

I am always polite with these ...., but confident, so I have never been even fined (sorry, 2 times when the speed was too high, but it was my mistake).

I am not a naif driver (10 years of experience), though It can sound like this.

But it is my experience and opinion!

SV1973a
04-09-2009, 11:09
I have two experiences with being stopped by the GAI for a traffic violation.

First time was in September 2008, at the exit of the MKAD in Yasenova. I was not yet familiar with the Russian situation where, when driving on the ring road, if you want to exit, you usually have to drive under the bridge and turn.
So, I took the first exit (which was actually for official transport only) and I arrive at the top of the bridge. Here I needed to go left, but that was not possible, because there was a separation in the middle of the street. I could also not go straight ahead. I could also not go back. The only possibility was to turn right (and a little bit further make a 180 degrees turn). But there was a traffic sign that said you were not allowed to do that.
I decided to drive at slow speed and very carefully. 200 meters away there was a GAI post, and as soon as they saw me coming they came out and blew their whistle.
I stopped and when they came to me they asked for all car documents. I gave them everything, and showed them my passport. At the sight of a foreign passport, their faces really lit up.
They said, come on, let`s go inside the post and solve this matter.
This is the dialogue of what happened :
GAI : You have violated rule nr.xx of the traffic code (and he showed me a book with the traffic signs)
Me : Sorry, I did not see that sign and once I was on top of the bridge, I had no other choice then to drive on.
GAI : Well, I will have to write a protocol… (pause) but… perhaps you have other proposals???
Me : What do you mean proposals ?
GAI : Well… proposals…
Me : Actually no, please write the protocol.
GAI : I will fill in the protocol. Give me your registration.

I started looking through all my papers, and finally gave him my registration.

GAI : No, not that one, the one of your car.

I started looking again, and finally give him the correct one.
The GAI starts filling in all relevant data, and when he is done, he turns to me

GAI : Now you have to write a declaration, why you violated the traffic rule.
Me : But I do not know how to write in Russian.
GAI : No problem, I will dictate you what to write.
Me : OK then.
GAI : `I, named so-and-so, violated rule number xx of the traffic code…`
And on and on he went. And on and on I wrote.

You should have seen his face when I finally showed him what I had written down :
`I comma named so and so comma violated rule number xx of the traffic code…` exactly like he had told me to.

Moreover, I had written this text in my worst possible Russian, making the silliest mistakes, so to make it clear that if any Russian read this, it was clear that the person writing the text had no idea what he was writing down.

He said that in two months time I would get a `fine` send by post, that I should pay.
When we left the GAI-post, I asked him how I could return to the road now?
`That is easy`, he said, `you just turn 180 degrees right here…`

In two months time, I did not get a `fine`, and I am still waiting for it till this day…

Moral of the story: If you don`t want to pay a bribe, insist on the protocol. Chances are real that you won`t have to pay anything. Writing a protocol and processing will require him to work, and they will not get anything from it. Besides, all the time spend on `protocols` is lost for hunting other automobilists for bribes.

Second time was in June 2009, at a square in front of station.
I was driving in a direction, and realized I needed to turn and get to the opposite direction. At that empty square, I could take a turn, without disturbing anybody, and I would immediately be on the right way.
I carefully start my manoeuvre, but there he is; the GAI is always on the look out.
He stops me, and I get out of the care. The GAI is very friendly, when he sees my foreign passport, he even starts to speak a few words in English and French. He even tells me his name is Anatoliy.
The problem is that I have violated the traffic law, because I was not allowed to make a turn at that place.
Apparently this is a very serious violation, because he says he needs to withdraw my drivers license for 6 months (which I am pretty sure that this is not correct).
I am not afraid, and tell him that he better write a protocol, or perhaps we can arrange something.
GAI : Have you been living in Russia for a long time already?
Me : Yes.
GAI : Then you know how things are done here.
I don`t reply.
GAI : And then there was silence.
Me : It`s not that, I mean, we are standing in sight of everybody here.
GAI : OK, you go sit in your car and I will give you this booklet. Act like if you are writing something down.
I go sit in the car and slip a 500 RUB note in the booklet.
When I hand it over to him, he has a look at it, and the dialogue continues.
GAI : You know, you really did a very serious traffic violation. Let`s see, if you would have driven on the footpath, it would cost you officially 2000 RUB, but your violation is even worse.
Me : Well, if the official fine is 2000 RUB, let`s say that I get off the hook for half of that.
I slip another 500 note in the booklet.
GAI : OK then, but only because you are a `guest of the capital`!

Moral of the story: sometimes it probably is better to pay a bribe to not loose your time.

The Russian GAIs are never the first to say that you should give them a bribe (at least, they do not say it in these words).
But then, how do you know if they will take a bribe, or not?
I asked my Russian friends, and this is what they told me: Always remain calm and friendly with these guys, and try to start a conversation. Say that life is very difficult these days, and that you understand that they have to do unpleasant work outside on the street, for low salaries…
If they engage in this conversation, they will take a bribe.
If not, go for the protocol.

With time I have come to think about GAI in philosophical manner. The fact that they stop you is not personal, it is just in their nature. It is like the cat and the mouse. The cat does not hate the mouse, but she has to catch mice any way to stay alive.

JungleBrother
04-09-2009, 13:46
I have had some success with humor on these guys. Once, caught for speeding (which I was), the GAIshnik admitted he wouldn't have stopped me if I were under 100 km/h, but as I was clocked at 103, he had to stop me. He said, 'You know...such a shame that a young guy like you has to be w/o his car on a weekend (it was Friday night).' Obviously that was an opening, so I offered 500 per km over 100, and he agreed.

Another time tho was just before the New Year, and two GAIshniki stopped me at the Yauza end of the blvd ring. They stated that a license+perevod (I am a US driver) was no longer sufficient, so they had to fine me. When I protested, asked for a protokol, etc., they then said I also illegally passed a tramvai (which I did not). Obvious to the end result, I ultimately paid 7,000 RUR (a Russian friend with a UK license was stopped in the same spot a day or two later and kicked up 6,000 RUR, so I was only an extra 1/6 more of a sucker than he was!).

Then again, a long time ago I was in SPB, and my neighbor was a GAIshnik. He once saw me on Nevsky trying to hail a cab, and he stopped a car for me and told him to drive me wherever I wanted to go. So...it can work many ways....

Bottom line...I think you have to think of the bribes as a social tax. It is absurdly cheap to drive here, things like insurance can be less if you have the right car than in the US, fuel is reasonable and you can park anywhere at no cost. From time to time, you are just going to get hit with the GAI thing, and better to pay than to have to manage the Russian bureaucracy whether right or wrong. Remind yourself that it isn't a Russian-foreign thing (tho 3,000 in Rostov is absurd); rather, everyone hates the GAI, even the taxi drivers who get hit up for kickbacks more than us.

GaNozri
04-09-2009, 13:55
Another thing about DPS cops, is that most of the time they are "partizans", meaning they are not supposed to be where they are at. They take a cruiser, a radar and go off to make money. In reality, they are supposed to be at a traffic accident scene, or something (that's why people wait for hours sometimes for them to arrive). Unless you know the territorial divisions by DPS batallions, there is no way you can tell if they are there legally.

This happened two months ago at the dacha. We were drinking all night, and in the morning had to go to the store for more booze. The scooter wouldn't start (Chinese crap!), so we had to drive (noone could walk 800 meters). I was in the passenger seat, friend of mine behind the wheel, with no DL. As soon as we left the store (~50m) DPS pulls us over. They take my car documents and start discussing the price. Started at 50K, then 30K, then 15K. All we had on us was ~10K. The bastards wouldn't take less than 15K, so they suggested we go to the dacha and get more money there. As we pulled in with a police escort my neighbor (a local) comes to me and says: "tell them to f&ck off! They are batallion 14, which only monitors the highway, 100m away from the highway is batallion 26 jurisdiction". So, I take a notebook and a pen, walk around their car writing down their license plates, then leaned into the car trying to get his badge #.

The cops were shocked when I told them they can keep my car documents, I will be happy to get them back from their superior officer (neighbor told me the name of the batallion chief). They threw the docs at me and hurried away.

About 2 weeks ago I'm walking to the store and see a batallion 14 DPS cruiser (different one) sitting there waiting for a victim. I come up to them, knock on their window, and say: "Выручкой делиться будете, партизаны бля?" They didn't even answer, just squeeked away in a hurry!

GaNozri
04-09-2009, 14:06
It is absurdly cheap to drive here, things like insurance can be less if you have the right car than in the US, fuel is reasonable and you can park anywhere at no cost. .

Where do you get that from? Unless you drive a zaporojets, insurance is more expensive than in the US. Beleive me, my car was registered in NJ, which is the most expensive state for insurance, and I still paid about $200 a year less than now. Road tax is expensive - I pay 50 rubles per horsepower, for a 10600r annual tax. Parking is supposed to be free, yet my car got towed away 3 times this year for no apparent reason. Fuel at 23.50 per liter is NOT reasonable for Russia!

It is precisely your attitude about bribes being a social tax, is what feeds corruption. I always tell them to write me a ticket instead of offering the arseholes money. Half the time, even when I am in the wrong (esp. for minor things like seatbelts) they will just let me go. Just think about it - they have a bunch of paperwork to fill in order to issue me a ticket, they would rather use the time to stop a sucker, like yourself.

SV1973a
04-09-2009, 14:26
they have a bunch of paperwork to fill in order to issue me a ticket, they would rather use the time to stop a sucker,

Correct for the majority of cases when they stop you.
However, what if you did commit a serious traffic violation (like not stopping for a red light?), when this will result in you losing your driver`s license?
Than I think you can better negotiate a bribe.

By the way, not so long ago at one of those tourist shops, I bought myself a plastic card that states `GIBDD Russia - 50% discount`.
If during a next close encounter with the GAI, the situation is right for it, I will try to use it. That is, if the chap has a sense of humour.

onlygod
05-09-2009, 13:57
thanks for your comments,
SV1973a, actually, my situation was very similar to your 2nd one, so I guess this is "normal".

Before, I wasn't so up to date with all the rules and how everything works with DPS.

Adieu
29-09-2009, 01:02
You guys are getting screwed over. BADLY. Anything but drunk driving and crossing double lines (Russians tend to get fanatical about them, for no apparent reason) or 40+km over the limit costs 500, tops, and generally more like 200.

They are playing you because they think foreigners are daft and naive. If you're old enough to look it, tell 'em you've been in Russia for 10+ years and know the ropes and the 'rates' (even if it's total BS). Then tell em to write you up a citation if they don't feel like being reasonable "in settling this faster". Chances are, they'll make you an offer that's 10x lower than before.

For example, that 3km = 3*500 was obscene. It's like 200 rub tops, and even then, it's rather weird that they even bothered stopping you. Must've been a slow day... Or maybe his car and house payments were overdue =)

gavin
06-10-2009, 02:43
they want money for beer my girlfriend told me!

Igor2009
29-10-2009, 11:48
The illegal U-turn costs only 1500 russian rubles, inspector can't take your driving licence in such a violation. So the best way is to let them to write a protocol and so on.

web
10-11-2009, 17:31
Adieu +1 !
You people are either too rich or else. 4000, 3000, 15k roubles....sh!t!
I've been in Russia since 1994 and NEVER payed a dime to GAI. there is only a handful of violations for which they can take your DL and then you either have to go to pay the fine in the police station or they will send you to the court who will decide for how long they will ban you from driving. With international DL that means you are banned until you get yourself a new one :)

Official traffic violations with official fines
Информационный портал ГАИ РУ: Новая таблица штрафов (http://www.gai.ru/law/p423/)

you can see which ones might get you loose your DL. MIGHT doesn't mean you will.
Rule of a thumb - NEVER PAY A BRIBE, always look freakin' surprised that they are asking for a bribe one way or another. Be sure you know what are you doing and what have you done. If they want to take you DL and don't have the legal right to do so, tell them you will call Internal Affairs (you can find their # on the web), call I.A. dont be afraid!
Just be sure you dont speed in a pedestrian zone and don't DUI.

Guillaume
22-11-2009, 19:24
I agree with web, NEVER PAY A BRIBE, get the official fine or go to court if you believe your right: if there is no proper lights in the street or sign hiddden behind a tree (very common) where the cops is making his business...
It's surprising how official fines are cheap!

Bogatyr
23-11-2009, 08:45
Just be sure you dont speed in a pedestrian zone and don't DUI.

That's all well and good, but what about when they make you blow into a rigged breath alcohol detector that always shows red? Should you demand that they blow in to it too? Call I.A.? Or what?

Pobman
23-11-2009, 15:10
That's all well and good, but what about when they make you blow into a rigged breath alcohol detector that always shows red? Should you demand that they blow in to it too? Call I.A.? Or what?

Well as they probably are drunk even a working one would go red when they blow on it :)

actually i had very few GAI issues in 8 years ... even got away with crossing the double white line a few times without fine (there was a time when it was 100% impossible to get to my house without crossing the line OR driving several KM... they effectively circled my house with double lines!)

web
26-11-2009, 13:45
That's all well and good, but what about when they make you blow into a rigged breath alcohol detector that always shows red? Should you demand that they blow in to it too? Call I.A.? Or what?

Well I solved it pretty simple, I've bought myself 2 decetors, they are like 8000rub each. So if it DOES show red, I then blow in my own. They usualy say that their's is broken.
Twice I hade a case when the cop pulled his "spare| one so I've pulled my spare one and BOTH TIME both of the cops said "right...its just harder and harder to fight you guys"

AndrewJD
04-01-2010, 07:35
I aggree totally, I spoke with confidence and polietly and they didn't want to do anything but wish me a safe journey.

robertmf
04-01-2010, 08:17
They can not take your driving licence untill you are drunk, or passed red light or you passed solid lines.

My advice is not to argue, to let them to write a protocol, to sign that you do not agree with a case.

Ask them to show the rule (the book with rule) where there is a note. what fine and how you may be punished for breaking driving rules.

To write down their numbers (it will be a sign for them you are going to complain).

Then to write a compain.

At any rate you can be fined maximum (and I am sure something about the same ammount of money) but legaly.

Bribe is a thing which all drivers do sometimes but it becomes dangerous for both part (some department of police conduct special stands and this will bring to the jail).

To be afraid of Police is not good. To be confident is better. GAI "feels" your confidence.

I am always polite with these ...., but confident, so I have never been even fined (sorry, 2 times when the speed was too high, but it was my mistake).

I am not a naif driver (10 years of experience), though It can sound like this.

But it is my experience and opinion!

What is so special about "solid lines". When I was in Soviet Union there were no such lines. Are they new ? :farout:

tvadim133
04-01-2010, 18:38
What is so special about "solid lines". When I was in Soviet Union there were no such lines. Are they new ? :farout:

I meant coninuous line by "solid".

According to the rule, it there is a road mark of this kind, a dirver can not pass it (for example to turn to the left, or to unroll. If you do it, it is considered that you drive on the contrary way of the road and it is not fined with money.....unfortunately policeman can fine you with cancelling your driving licence for a lond period of time.

You know, when you are in jam for 3 hours, and the contrary line is empty, some drivers can not stand ("the solid line is not a wall") and break the law in unrolling.

Here it is at once (GIBBDESHNICK)!

istra123
11-01-2010, 16:41
yes, its a usual practice here for police to take bribes. you can try to argue and go to court, but trust me it will not do anything. the judges are bought by police and you will just waste time and money. dont' drive any fancy cars that will only bring attention to you. if you are driving a nice Porche, of course they know you have money and will not let you until you pay. anyway, I agree with the poste about having confidence, it does help.

tvadim133
11-01-2010, 17:34
yes, its a usual practice here for police to take bribes. you can try to argue and go to court, but trust me it will not do anything. the judges are bought by police and you will just waste time and money. dont' drive any fancy cars that will only bring attention to you. if you are driving a nice Porche, of course they know you have money and will not let you until you pay. anyway, I agree with the poste about having confidence, it does help.

We can argue and go to the court easy! What are you talking about?

It makes sence, If you are right. The problem is that many drivers just break the driving rules and think that giving money is one of the wasy out to escape punishment.

At any rate, I drive (not Porche but good car) intensively and I have paid bribes 2 times for speed (many years ago, in 1999 as I remember).

And I have some case when my friends' cases were stoped after they have send a proclaim letter to the department.

So, if you "give up" or "think like a victim", you will be a victim, no matter with GAI or with other officials.

Vadim
16-01-2010, 08:09
Guys, did the rules changed so much in Russia? They had no right to breath test on the road before. Only when accompanied by an ambulance van. In other situations a driver suspected in alcohol intoxication must be taken to a dedicated medical centre for a test. If you agree to a breath test 'on a scene' this is a good will, not a requirement. More, you can refuse testing in a medical centre either. Sure, judge will not appreciate that, but this is your right to refuse. As for seatbelts and crossing tramway lines - Soviet era police couldn't be a witness in a courtroom, and I think the same rule applies to Russian police. If you not accept, how will they prove?

lehua768
04-05-2010, 05:33
They are playing you because they think foreigners are daft and naive. If you're old enough to look it, tell 'em you've been in Russia for 10+ years and know the ropes and the 'rates' (even if it's total BS). Then tell em to write you up a citation if they don't feel like being reasonable "in settling this faster". Chances are, they'll make you an offer that's 10x lower than before.