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US Diplomats Owe London $4.7 Million in Traffic Fines

US Officials Drive and Ditch in London Leaving $4.7 Million Tab

A current diplomatic showdown between the US and its motherland involves $4.7 million of unpaid fines US diplomats owe for refusing to pay London's traffic congestion charge.

So what are the transatlantic positions? The US calls the £8 per day charge to enter the city a tax. Therefore, tax-exempt foreign service officers need not pay. The UK sees the charge as service fee, not a tax. In 2006, London's mayor called the US ambassador a "chiseling little crook" for evading the charge. Other countries share the US position, and Russia and Japan owe millions too, according to Bloomberg.

London also has to swallow the pain of more serious diplomatic offenses. In 2007, 20 serious crimes (think assault, drinking and driving, or robbery), attributed to foreign diplomats, went unpunished thanks to diplomatic immunity.

I wonder if the US will try to get foreign diplomats headed below 60th street to pay the New York City congestion charge that goes into effect next March! Should the diplomats pay up like everyone else in London?

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Choco-cat Choco-cat 8 years
This diplomatic immunity cr-p is out of control. The diplomat should pay it!
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
$1.50 Euro, I mean.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
$1.50 Euro, I mean.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I have a question. Since the Euro is so much more expensive, in relation to the dollar, isn't this charge like $1.50?
piesecki piesecki 8 years
redegg - the money from London's congestion charge supposedly goes to fund better public transport, not that I've noticed much of a difference since it came into force...
girlgreen girlgreen 8 years
Liberty, I live in NYC and I'm pretty sure the congestion pricing plan failed!
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
Excuse me, have they paid for burning down the White House in 1812? Payback's a bitch, England.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
HA! Leave it to the U.S. to tell another country what their laws mean in their country. How ridiculous pay the damn toll.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
HA! Leave it to the U.S. to tell another country what their laws mean in their country. How ridiculous pay the damn toll.
redegg redegg 8 years
I'm amazed that the cities have figured out how to profit off of traffic. Well, not really. I'm curious if any of the money goes towards environmentally beneficial things.
janneth janneth 8 years
I can see giving immunity to paying this service fee. If they have certain plates on their cars, they don't pay or something like that. At least we are not the only country refusing to pay.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
The diplomats should take public transportation if they don't want to pay the fee.
terryt18 terryt18 8 years
It's funny. Hehe... chiseling little crook. Ah, these diplomats and their snarky barbs.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 8 years
i think we should pay, but 8 pounds seems rather exorbitant! that's like, $16! and is this every time you go into the city, or a day pass? regardless, they need to sort out the diplomat issue there, like giving them some kind of pass. free, or at a cost, it doesn't matter.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 8 years
i think we should pay, but 8 pounds seems rather exorbitant! that's like, $16! and is this every time you go into the city, or a day pass? regardless, they need to sort out the diplomat issue there, like giving them some kind of pass. free, or at a cost, it doesn't matter.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Nica when I lived in NOVA I heard SO MANY horror stories about the diplomats driving in DC. Its astonishing! They get away with everything! So yea, this story doesn't bother me at all really.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Nica when I lived in NOVA I heard SO MANY horror stories about the diplomats driving in DC. Its astonishing! They get away with everything!So yea, this story doesn't bother me at all really.
nicachica nicachica 8 years
Well let's see...about 10 years ago a diplomat (i think he was Brazilian) was drinking and driving in DC and killed a 16 year old girl from my high school (i didn't go there yet but my brother was attending at the time). But thanks to diplomatic immunity all he got was a slap on the wrist and told to return to his country. I tried looking for the article but can't find it. grrr... So yeah, i don't have much sympathy for diplomats who get so many privileges. Heck yeah we should pay England. But of course, that means that all those English diplomats will need to pay our fines of course...
nicachica nicachica 8 years
Well let's see...about 10 years ago a diplomat (i think he was Brazilian) was drinking and driving in DC and killed a 16 year old girl from my high school (i didn't go there yet but my brother was attending at the time). But thanks to diplomatic immunity all he got was a slap on the wrist and told to return to his country. I tried looking for the article but can't find it. grrr...So yeah, i don't have much sympathy for diplomats who get so many privileges. Heck yeah we should pay England. But of course, that means that all those English diplomats will need to pay our fines of course...
secretallstar secretallstar 8 years
Please, you know how many unpaid parking tickets diplomats owe NYC?
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