A huge number of undercover officers from the Jeddah traffic police department are currently engaged in aggressive targeting of motorists who cover up some part of their vehicle registration number plate so that they can avoid being detected and caught by the Saher speed cameras which are located all around the city. The official spokesman for the Jeddah Traffic police, Zaid Al Hamzi stated that Saher has been indeed unable to register many violations against those vehicles whose plates have been covered up or altered in any way. Al Hamzi added that they are using various unmarked traffic patrol cars to find such cars that have covered license plates. Even if part of the plate is covered, the Saher cameras are unable to read it and subsequently register a violation. Inability to register violations means that these violators roams free until they finally get caught by a patrol car.
Any car with covered plates that will be found by the unmarked patrol cars will be impounded for a minimum time of a week. Additionally the owner of the car will have to pay heavy fines. The fines, according to a source at traffic police, are estimated to be around SAR 2,000 and additional impounding charges of around SAR 50-100 per day are also t be paid for the time the car remains impounded. Spokesman Al Hamzi denied that car accessory and decoration shops and business do not use the reflective white tape used to cover the plates. This white tape is used to cover the numbers precisely and those who look at it from a distant will not notice anything unusual, however the Saher camera will be unable to read it.
It is also worth a mention that the traffic department has also stated that around 58 percent of the drivers said that the mobile phone was a huge distraction for all the drivers on the road. The Saudi traffic department has already imposed heavy fine to the drivers who use mobile phones while driving, “SR 15,000 Fine, 1 Night in Jail and 30 Days Vehicle Confiscation if caught using Mobile while Driving”
Since the inauguration few years ago, the automated traffic management and control system which is set up in most of the major cities of the Kingdom and uses cameras which are linked to the Interior Ministry’s National Information center has been credited for saving of many lives in one of the dangerous environments on the planet. In accordance with the annual traffic report of the Interior Ministry in 2010, it stated that the average economic loss accumulated from traffic accidents every year in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is estimated to be around SAR 21 Billion. The number of fatalities caused by these accidents has risen around 10 percent from 2009 to 2010.
According to General Zayed Altwayan, Commander of the Special Road Safety Unit in Al Riyadh, the role of traffic awareness in reducing traffic accidents is essential. A paper was presented by the Commander during the 35th science meeting in which emphasis was laid on the fact that increasing the traffic patrols resulted in a 66 percent drop in traffic violations.
Source: Arab News
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