Friday, October 14, 2016

October 2016 Update on the Traffic Laws of Saudi Arabia

New penalties for traffic violations will come into force within the month of October 2016.

The General Department of Traffic is said to be finalizing the new penalties in line with the decision of the Council of Ministers as reported in a news article in Saudi Gazette last October 3.

During the 3rd Quarter this year, the Cabinet made major amendments to the articles of the Traffic Law to give tougher penalties for traffic violations.

The details of the penalties for various violations are:

The following traffic violations carry a penalty of SR1,000 - SR2,000 fine
  1. Stopping on railway track
  2. Carrying passengers exceeding the permitted number in the vehicle registration card (istimara)
  3. Refusing to show driving license or istimara (when asked by authorities)
  4. Not displaying number plate of vehicle
  5. Failure to wear helmet by motor cyclists 
  6. Seizing driving license or istimara of another person
  7. Giving istimara of another person on mortgage.

The following traffic violations carry a penalty of SR3,000 - SR6,000 fine and vehicle seizure

  1. Jumping red signal
  2. Using illegal number plates or number plate of other vehicles
  3. Fitting accessories that are permitted only for official vehicles or emergency vehicles
  4. Overtaking school buses while they pick up or drop off children
  5. Tampering roadsigns, reflectors and poles
  6. Refusing to stop at checkpoints or when security patrols ask for it, and 
  7. Displaying logos or stickers that are against pubic etiquette.
The following traffic violations carry a penalty of SR5,000 - SR10,000 fine and vehicle seizure
  1. Obliterating or attempt to obliterate special features of a vehicle
  2. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  3. Carrying out any activities on the road without prior coordination (with the concerned authorities).

The following traffic violations carry a penalty of SR10,000 fine and/or 3-month jail

  1. Failure of a motorist involved in an accident to stop at the scene and failure to take the initiative to inform the competent department and provide possible assistance to those injured in the accident.

Reference: Saudi Gazette - New Traffic Laws in 15 days 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Stunt Driving, From Popular Pastime to a Major Health & Safety Hazard

Saudi youths demonstrate their driving stunts/skills, also known as sidewall skiing (driving on two wheels)
Photo Credit: Reuters via Arab News
The long stretch of desert roads and the strong car culture of Saudi Arabia makes stunt driving or "sidewall skiing" (driving on two wheels) a popular hobby of Saudi young people. Drifting or "Haglawah" involves incredibly skilled drivers doing a balancing act of the moving car on one side. It is usually done by driving one pair of wheels up on the road while the other passengers get out on the other side of the car.  There are times when the thrilled passengers change the suspended tires while the car is on drifting process.

Because of the safety risks, the Cabinet has been taking stringent measures against stunt-driving. During their meeting sometime in August this year, the Cabinet made major amendments to the articles of the Traffic Law to give tougher penalties for traffic violations. 

Among those reported amended in Article 69 of the Traffic Law was to make stunt driving a traffic violation. Violators will face the seizure of vehicle for 15 days and a fine of SR20,000 for first violation, the seizure of vehicle for 30 days and a fine of SR40,000 for second violation.

In both cases, the violator will be referred to the court to examine carrying out jail term.

For third violation, the vehicle will be seized and a fine of SR60,000 will be slapped, and the violator will be referred to the court.

The seizure or confiscation of vehicle will not be applicable to rented or stolen vehicles.

Below is a Table of Penalties for Haglawah.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving Day from my Flurry Friends!

The 4th Thursday of November is celebrated in the USA as Thanksgiving Day. This year, it's the 26th of November. The celebration traditionally kicks off the 'holiday season'. Many Britons celebrate it as a warm-up for the Yuletide period. Many Americans think it of it as just as important as Christmas and it is a fact in the US that more people celebrate Thanksgiving than they do Christmas.

A Butterball turkey at BJ's Wholesale Club

So if everyone in North America had Turkey for dinner, my three flurry friends had  Turkey in gravy for their dinner, too.