Truckers in Russia begin protests
A series of protests by Russian truckers has begun in regions throughout Russia. The truckers are protesting against the Platon road system, whereby tolls are collected for the use of federal roads.
As reported by the news site Meduza, drivers taking part in the protests line up their trucks along the roads. Protests have begun in the areas of St. Petersburg, Tatarstan, Primorye, Amur, as well as other regions.
Earlier, the Association of Carriers in Russia announced that no less than ten thousand truckers would participate in the protest on March 27th.
The protests were organized in spite of the fact that on March 24th the government announced that it would change the original plans to raise the tolls on Platon roads. Earlier, the plan was to do away with the special toll rate and double the tolls. Now the tolls will only be increased by 25 percent.
The system of charging tolls on federal roads for vehicles with heavy payloads has been in effect since November 2015. Initially, the toll rate was to be 3.73 rubles ($0.07 USD) per kilometer, and then it was lowered to 3.06 ($0.05 USD). After the mass protests, it has been lowered to 1.53 rubles ($0.03 USD) per kilometer. Later, however, the decision was made to increase it.
In November, protests by the truckers in the Moscow region led to the all of the participants as well as journalists being detained.