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25 April 2010 04:02 pm

Need for tougher traffic penalties stressed

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Traffic authorities agree with the Advisory Council that tougher regulations are needed to deter motorists from jumping traffic lights. The Advisory Council has recently suggested that a motorist who jumps traffic lights be immediately referred to Public Prosecution for interrogation and charge-sheeting. The suggestion was made during a review of the proposed amendments to some key provisions of the new traffic law which was enforced in late 2007. The legislation already has stricter provisions which have led to a considerable reduction in the number of road accidents and fatalities since its implementation roughly two-and-a-half years. For instance, the law raised the fine for jumping traffic lights—a violation which led to fatal accidents—to QR6,000 which many violators find unreasonable and approach the traffic department for waiving or at least reducing it. The department has in cases where violators were found not to have jumped traffic lights deliberately, reduced and even waived the fine. The Council has, however, recommended that the fine for not renewing the road permit of a car after the completion of the grace period of 30 days following its expiration be reduced from QR1,500. The fine for this violation before the new law was brought into force was QR500 only. The recommendations of the Advisory Council with regard to the proposed amendments to the new traffic legislation are now with the traffic authorities. http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=Local_News&subsection=Qatar+News&month=March2010&file=Local_News201003156058.xml