Saudi Gazette report
TAIF – Several companies that run buses for both schoolchildren and female teachers are in a crunch after the recent decision by the Traffic Department to ban tinted windows in school buses has forced many teachers to take alternative means of transportation and as a result lowered their profits, a local newspaper reported.
Speaking from Taif, driver Hamdan Al-Khudaidi accused traffic police of unnecessarily targeting drivers by repeatedly pulling them over and slapping them with fines for tinting bus windows.
“There has been a noticeable increase in inspections of buses carrying female teachers at checkpoints on both the Taif-Riyadh and the Southern roads which in turn causes teachers to be late for classes. Then there are repeated fines for tinting windows. This has forced many teachers to resort to alternative means of transportation,” he said, while adding that tinted windows protect teachers from the sun and provide them with privacy as they travel long distances to their schools.
“If things continue like this, many companies will have no choice but to close as bus owners and drivers are being issued tickets almost daily. Drivers are being pressured by teachers’ guardians to tint windows and the traffic police to stop the practice but who are we supposed to listen to?”
Banddar Al-Thumali’s wife is a teacher and according to him, male guardians are upset by the Traffic Department’s decision to ban tinted windows on buses. He said authorities must find a solution that satisfies everyone.
“They need to figure this out. Perhaps the Traffic Department should create a database that contains the names and addresses of bus drivers in every transport company and the names and relevant information of teachers using buses. They can then issue special ID cards that can be used at police checkpoints,” he said.
Spokesman for the Traffic Department in Taif Maj. Ali Al-Malki said the ban was put in place for safety reasons and urged drivers to comply.
“Windows can be tinted but they should not prevent someone from seeing passengers in the vehicle from the outside. Anyone caught flouting the ban will face a minimum fine of SR300 and a maximum fine of SR500. Rules are in place for the safety and wellbeing of all,” he said.