The Parking Mutts Of Moscow

Specially trained dogs are a friendly and efficient way to ingrain parking culture in Moscow.

Unlike her nominated predecessor, the new EU transport commissioner is apparently in no hurry to publish her priorities for the years ahead. The UK share in the number of HGVs crossing the Channel fell dramatically in the last twenty years say new official figures. Wintery conditions mean ‘winter’ tyres for drivers in Germany and Luxembourg (and Austria). Thirteen children are discovered hidden in a tanker in Dover.

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THE PARKING MUTTS OF MOSCOW

Casey patrols where humans sometimes fear to tread.

Parking Mutt Moscow: specially trained dogs remove (and bin) the pieces of paper drivers use to obscure their number plates, and avoid the traffic authorities. Via @EnglishRussia.

Photo Ilya Varlamov (@Varlamov), traffic activist at Zyalt.Livejournal.com via @EnglishRussia.

MOSCOW: Specially trained dogs are being introduced to remove (and bin) the pieces of paper and other objects drivers use to obscure number plates and avoid traffic authorities.

The dogs are much quicker than humans at clearing the plates – leaving them visible to mobile camera cars – and are trained to cross roads and indicate the nearest parking machine.

Pictured here is Casey, one of two current parking dogs, who patrols the streets around Pure Ponds in north east Moscow.

Ten dogs in total will be deployed by early next year, all from a local rescue centre.

Not to put too fine a point on it, ingraining parking culture in Muscovites has been challenging since paid zones were first introduced at the end of 2012.

It is hoped the dogs will also make the process less confrontational as the zones expand throughout the Russian capital. They are also trained not to take food from passers-by.

See here for the official site on parking in Moscow, in English.

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saarbrucken2

Following the first winter snowfall outside of the Alps drivers are reminded that ‘winter tyres’ – i.e. tyres marked at least M+S – are mandatory in wintery conditions in Germany and Luxembourg. Snow fell on the Benelux/France/German border region overnight, particularly affecting the area around Saarbrucken. Meanwhile, roads in the north east of Germany are subject to black ice warnings. The Czech Republic has been struggling with the same all week so far. Austria – where winter tyres are also mandatory in wintry conditions – is expected to be next affected. Photo: A6 at Kaiserslautern direction Saarbrucken this morning via SWR.de

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roundup: EU. The man first nominated as the next Transport Commissioner said his first priority would be a new White Paper setting out his priorities under the Juncker Commission. In fact, Maros Sefcovic (now Commissioner for Energy Union after an impromptu pre-shuffle) indirectly criticised his predecessor for being too slow to do the same. So it’s a surprise to hear incoming transport commissioner Violeta Bulc say today that there would be ‘no new White Paper on Transport, but possible revision and adjustment of priorities after 2015’ (via @EU_Logistics). We have our feelers out to see what’s changed. CALAIS MIGRANTS. Thirteen ‘unaccompanied minors’ from Afghanistan and Syria were found in a tanker carrying plastic granules in Dover yesterday according to reports. All were taken into care and are said to be fit and well. INTERNATIONAL HAULAGE. Since 1996 the UK-registered share in the number of HGVs travelling to Europe has fallen from its peak of 52% to just 14% now according to new figures from the UK DfT today. In the year to September however the total number of HGV movements across the Channel grew by 9% to 2.8m, just 2% lower than the pre-recession high point in 2007.

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