Saudi Gazette reports that the current regime of imposing fines on traffic offenders in Saudi Arabia isn’t working out terribly well. Not only are most traffic tickets being handed out to non-Saudis, but even when Saudis are ticketed, they just blow off the fines. They may get around to paying them (after they’ve doubled due to non-payment) if they need to travel outside the country as Saudi Arabia does require a clearance of fines before one can leave, even for a holiday.
Since fines don’t seem to be working, perhaps it’s time to try other measures. Commenters to the article suggest things like jail sentences for repeat offenders. Impounding the vehicles for a lengthy period of time — or even destroying them — might also get the attention of scofflaws.
Hefty traffic fines unlikely to end recklessness on the roads
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.”
Saudi Gazette also runs a piece about how traffic authorities in the UAE are getting annoyed with Saudi drivers. They’re trying to find ways to inform drivers that their errant ways will not be tolerated. Again, impounding the vehicles seems as though it might be effective. There’s nothing quite like being stranded in another country and having to purchase an airline ticket in order to leave.