Vilnius mayor Arturas Zuokas' crushing blow for illegal cycle-lane parkers

 

The mayor of the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, has released a video of himself crushing a car with an armoured vehicle to try to stop drivers parking illegally in cycle lanes.

Arturas Zuokas, 43, is grinning as he demolishes the Mercedes S-Class in the video footage. "I wanted to draw attention to the fact that if you have a car and lots of money, it still doesn't mean that you can park your car wherever you want," Mr Zuokas said.

The video shows the Mayor, in a dark suit and an open-collared shirt, riding a bike and coming across the Mercedes parked in a cycle lane.

He photographs the car before returning atop the armoured personnel carrier. After the car has been destroyed, its "owner" – in a white jacket and gold chain – emerges from a shop across the street with a look of complete horror on his face. The Mayor shakes his hand, admonishes him for bad parking and sweeps away the broken glass as the wrecked Mercedes is towed away.

A spokeswoman for the Mayor admitted the scene had been staged. "The car was brought in especially for this clip," Rasa Razgaitis said.

She said there were no plans for a new law to stop illegal parking. The stunt was merely "to raise the public's awareness and urge both the residents of Vilnius and guests in our city to park in those areas that are legally designated for parking", she said.

But those who break the rules are not likely to find themselves suffering a response quite as aggressive as in the video. In reality, errant motorists would either be fined or have their vehicles towed away, Ms Razgaitis said.

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