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Hefty traffic fines unlikely to end recklessness on the roads

Last updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 3:14 PM
There is a need to educate the youth about traffic laws and experts have called for a vigorous campaign on the issue. — Okaz photo

Adel Abdul Rahman
Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — Many young men do not care about picking up speeding tickets or other traffic fines.

Those who accumulate fines do not pay them off until they double after a certain period of time.

Some do not pay their fines unless they find themselves in a situation where they are forced to do so, like traveling abroad.

Some of them pay fines that have accumulated to tens of thousands of riyals.

Abdul Rahman Al-Malki had to pay SR14,000 in traffic fines. He says the fines doubled because he did not pay them on time.

Most of his fines were issued because he was driving too fast on the road, using dark window tints, driving with an expired vehicle registration documents and not wearing a seat belt.

He does not know when he is going to pay off the fines as he is too busy with his work right now.

“I’ll only pay them off if I have to travel abroad because in such a case I would have no other choice.”

Saad Al-Marwani has to pay off traffic tickets worth SR25,000 but he does not have this amount of money.

He is thinking of taking a loan from the bank.

Abdullah Al-Aryani is a university student who pays off his fines through monthly installments.

He said driver negligence is the reason why motorists accumulate traffic fines and fail to pay them off.

Muhammad Al-Sayed has a clean record and does not have any traffic tickets because he always drives responsibly and carefully.

He believes some families buy their teenagers new cars and do not educate them on road safety standards.

Those teenagers then end up in the streets driving like crazy and risking other drivers’ lives.

Dr. Muhammad Ghanem, a psychology consultant, said the media should launch campaigns to educate drivers about the danger of repeating the same offenses over and over again.

A Jeddah Traffic Department spokesman urged drivers to drive safely and not jeopardize their lives and others by driving irresponsibly and recklessly.

He pointed out that last year 966,161 traffic fines were given to Saudi and non-Saudi drivers, with the majority of them given to non-Saudi drivers, around 791,826.

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