Traveling to Ukraine by plane or train has been covered by the press in full, but in this article we will speak about traveling by car. Ukrainian drivers know from experience how dangerous the roads can be, including hubs, inadequate drivers and false traffic officers.
False traffic officers "grass" in the height of holiday season, preferring south directions, especially Crimean, and fleece ingenuous drivers, including foreign ones. Unfortunately, it is entirely possible that on the eve of the Euro-2012 they will intensify their activity in other directions, popular among coming fans.
False traffic officers are ordinary scam artists, dressed into uniform resembling the traffic police robe. They usually stop cars with foreign license plates and rip off drivers for alleged violation of traffic rules.
ForUm addressed the traffic police department of Interior Ministry of Ukraine with a request to explain how to tell true traffic police officer from a scam artist. According to the received information, observance of traffic rules is carried out by foot police or mobile traffic police." A traffic police car usually has a light bar on the car roof and yellow and blue lines of the car sides. Besides, a police car has blue license plates, while all other vehicles have white ones.
If you are stopped by a police officer with a car without identification signs, be aware: it can be a scam artist, who simply bought the uniform in a shop. To find a car with special signs is more complicated.
The traffic police department also stresses that after having stopped a car a police officer must identify himself (position, rank and name) and specify the reason of the traffic stop.
Only after the above mentioned actions a police officer can ask a driver to show his documents (driving license, car registration documents, civil liability insurance policy or a "green-card" for non-residents). A driver is not obliged to hand documents, but only to show them in such a way so a police officer can read them.
A police officer in his turn is obliged to show his ID documents on driver's request. If you have any doubts, you have full authority to ask for his documents, and if an officer refuses you can rightly go away.
The traffic police department also says to pay attention to the appearance. All traffic police officers must have neat appearance, working equipment, identical seasonal uniform, reflective gears, badges, service guns and batons. Hence, if an officer lacks any or several of the above mentioned attributes, it is also a reason to be alarmed. But the problem is that such police officer can appear to be true officer, only not in service. Unfortunately, in Ukraine it happens that some negligent officers check in their weapon after the service and go on the road for "under-the-counter earnings".
In case of doubts the traffic police department recommends to call immediately the emergency number 102 and report the case. If your suspicions are proved to be true the department promises "to take necessary measures immediately." Such scam artists face imprisonment up to three years under the article on unauthorized appropriation of power authorization.
Euro guests should remember that fines cannot be collected onsite, but must be paid through special bank accounts.
We also want to point out some other facts and regulations to know:
- Accusations of speed limit violations must be confirmed by the readout of a special device, namely a photo, showing the license plate of a violator, and information about speed at the moment of shooting.
- If traffic officers ask you to open the trunk, remember that a car is immune private property in Ukraine, and the trunk examination procedure must be documented in the presence of two attesting witnesses. In addition, officers must have very serious grounds for such examination (for example, information that similar to your car transports illegal goods). The practice shows that if officers do not have serious reasons for car examination, they do not insist when you mention documentation and witnesses.
- If you are accused of drunk driving (and it's not true), remember that only a medical expertise can serve as a proof, not officer's words and not even the readout of an alcohol-screening device.
If you've violated the traffic rules after all, do not delay the payment, but go to the nearest bank department and keep the receipt confirming the payment. The state traffic department also says not to try to escape the country, as customs officials can detain you and the vehicle until you pay.
In the end we want to wish all Euro-2012 guests a nice travel around Ukraine.
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