Russia: Omsk bus drivers to obey road rules 'in protest'

A bus in traffic in Omsk Image copyright ALAMY
Image caption Some Omsk residents hope the unusual protests will help to sort out some of the city's traffic problems

Minibus drivers in a Russian city have said they'll start observing traffic rules in protest against a recent fare reduction, it's reported.

Drivers in the Siberian city of Omsk are unhappy about a cut in the bus fare from 22 roubles ($0.40; 26p) down to 18, and as a result have decided to stop bending the rules for the convenience of passengers, the Lenta news website reports. Russian minibus drivers are notorious for their unwillingness to observe traffic laws, often letting passengers off wherever they like, rather than at recognised bus stops. The local Omskinform news agency says that a sign has appeared inside the minibuses stating: "Since the passenger fares are 18 roubles again, passengers will be put down ONLY at official bus stops." The fare cut was ordered by a local court, which said a previous increase had been unjustified.

But in a city where police say about one in 10 road collisions involve minibuses, the "protest" doesn't seem to have upset many people. "I totally approve of the drivers' behaviour, but I would like them to observe the rules at other times as well - not only in protest," says one person on the VKontakte social network. "Only in Omsk can minibus drivers follow rules as a protest," writes a Twitter user. And another person thinks it's clear what should happen next: "Let's lower the fares to 16 roubles, then minibuses will observe the rest of the rules in revenge!"

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