Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

No! No! Proposed Traffic Law Change is a Step Backwards!

You see it all the time, at the roundabouts. Those fellows – it’s always guys – in the hot cars, the Porche, the Cayenne, I don’t even know all the names. The light turns red; they don’t care. They see a gap, they go.

I would love a look at the statistics. I would love to see who is getting all the fines for jumping the red lights. I bet 90% are all the same nationality.

And now they want to LOWER the fine for running the red light???

Just when Qatar has proudly announced that traffic deaths are falling dramatically with the ENFORCEMENT of the new, stricter laws?

No! No! A moderation of this fine is a step backward! Please, please, don’t do it!


Lower fine proposed for running a red light
The Advisory Council seeks a review of the traffic law

By Nour Abuzant
Staff Reporter

The Advisory Council has proposed a review of the traffic law with a stress on reducing the current fine of QR6,000 for jumping the red signal, a member of the council said yesterday.

According to him, the draft proposal recommended a significant cut in the fine and suggested that the penalty be structured around a more practical model based on the circumstances of the violation and the number of times a motorist committed the same offence.

Senior officials of the Traffic Department had defended the stringent rules which came into force in October 2007, saying they had been issued to combat the mounting number of traffic accidents which claimed scores of lives on the country’s roads.

Advisory Council member Mohamed al-Hajery, who was one of the 20 citizens felicitated by the Traffic Department for their clean traffic record yesterday, told reporters on the sidelines of the ceremony that the House preferred a more pragmatic approach to the issue.

The awarding ceremony was part of Qatar’s celebration of the GCC Traffic Week, currently being held under the slogan “Beware of Other’s Faults”.

“The tendency of my fellow members is to take into consideration the number of previous traffic violations and the circumstances involving the jumping of the red-light,” al-Hajery said.

“You cannot treat someone who jumped the signal after a minute the light turned red and after a fraction of a second it turned red from orange,” he said.

“I think that the appropriate fine for a driver who jumped the red light without a criminal intention is QR1,500 – QR2,000.”

Al-Hajery stressed that his pleading for a more lenient treatment did not mean he was promoting traffic violations. “Anyone who deliberately jumps the signal should be treated like a potential killer and no mercy should be shown to him.”

He said he was in favour of treating each case of jumping the red light individually.

The Advisory Council members had on February 19, 2008, refused to ratify the 2007 law, arguing that “ it did not strike a balance between the crime and the punishment”.

In late July 2008, the Advisory Council members gave the law a “test period” that ended in October 2008, to check the effectiveness of the law.

The law had introduced for the first time a negative points system that might lead to the suspension or cancellation of driving licences.

The Advisory Council member said that he was personally against the system. He explained: “Sometimes, the (negative) points are registered in the driver’s account and sometimes against the owner of the vehicle. In some cases, your son drives the car and you sustain the points. It is an ineffective system and should be re-examined.”

However, Traffic Department director Brigadier Saad al-Kharji on Sunday said he was not aware of any intention to reduce, at least for the time being, the current fines.

“Anybody who respects the traffic regulations has nothing to fear,” he said arguing that after two and half years of its implementation, the law had “proved effective in reducing the number of casualties, if we take into consideration the increasing number of vehicles in the country”.

He said: “Our target is to save lives on Qatar’s roads and there is no fine that can equal the life of a human being. It is not true that our aim was just to collect money.”

March 17, 2010 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Doha, Education, ExPat Life, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Qatar, Safety, Technical Issue, Values

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