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Saudi Arabia Raises Traffic Fines in War on Drifting | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013. Performing stunts such as sidewall skiing and drifts is a popular hobby amongst Saudi youths. REUTERS/Mohamed Al Hwaity (SAUDI ARABIA – Tags: SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) – RTXY2R3

Riyadh – As part of the measures the Saudi cabinet had taken to reduce squandering of public money and losses in human lives due to increased number of accidents, a Saudi official confirmed that the decision of the cabinet will be one of the right solutions.

Director of the Traffic Department Maj. Gen. Abdullah al-Zahrani told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that during October of 2015 and August of 2016, security forces apprehended 7423 drifters.

Zahrani added that any violator of the traffic or transportation regulations will be referred to the specialized court that looks into such cases. He added that the cases will be sent to the committee of traffic acting as the specialized court.

The director general pointed out that the Ministry of Interior, represented by the General Department of Traffic and the Ministry of Justice are coordinating with respect to traffic violations.

On Tuesday, Traffic Department issued a statement saying that it has started implementing the new rules and regulations for what serves the public and guarantees protection to all residents and citizens.

In the statement, Maj. Gen. Zahrani said that the Traffic Department will not show any leniency in implementing new regulations, especially Article 69 of the law pertaining to drifting/stunt driving.

He urged all people to abide by the traffic laws and regulations for their own safety.

Zahrani stressed that the decision to amend the Traffic Law was taken after extensive studies on how to enhance road safety.

“The decision to amend Traffic Law guarantees the protection of the rights of vehicle owners, enhances traffic safety and safeguards the lives and properties from mischief makers,” he said.

Transportation Geography Professor Saad al-Hussein told Asharq Al-Awsat that the new traffic law will help reduce drifting, and thus protect civilians. He stressed that the point of the new law is not to gain more money, but to save people’s lives.

Hussein called for the implementation of the “point system” to be put on the driving license of the driver.

Saudi Cabinet regulated the traffic law of 2007, especially article nine. Under the new rules, first-time drifters will have to pay 20,000 riyals and will be referred to a court. Their vehicle will be impounded for 15 days. However, a repeater will have to pay 40,000 riyals and referred to the court while the vehicle is impounded for one month.

The amendments also included adding three new sections to Article 68: violators paid SR1,000 for a first violation, SR1,500 for a second violation and SR2,000 for the third violation.

The amendment of Article 63 of the regulation reads as follows: “Subject to the provisions in Articles 61 and 62 of this regulation, any driver involved in a crash shall stop the vehicle at the scene and take the initiative to inform the competent department and provide possible assistance to the victims of the incident. If he fails do so, he shall be fined with not more than SR10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or both.”

Amendment of Article 64 of the regulation will be as follows: “Anyone violating this shall be punished with a fine of not less than SR10,000 and not more than SR50,000 for the first time, and if the offense is for the second time, the fine for the first time shall be doubled and if the offense is for the third time, the fine for the second time shall be doubled with the closing of the workshop permanently.”