Qatar’s Traffic Department has asked border officials to keep an eye out for some 42 vehicles registered in Saudi Arabia that have accumulated $742,000 (QR2.7 million) in traffic fines here, the Peninsula reports.
The vehicles’ drivers, who collectively racked up some 5,337 traffic violations in an unknown amount of time, are guilty of running red lights and other violations detected by cameras, a department circular issued to Abu Samra customs officials states.
One vehicle has 643 violations association with it; two more have more than 400, the report states. The least offending vehicle has accumulated 11 fines.
“These vehicles must be seized whenever they are sighted crossing the border either coming in or going out,” the notice states.
UPDATE: Saudi media is now reporting that 20 KSA-registered vehicles have been impounded at the Qatar-Saudi border.
According to Gulf News, Qatar authorities halved the fines that drivers needed to pay to get their vehicles back, but Saudis still expressed shock at the steep traffic fees.
UPDATE 2: The MOI tweeted that the Traffic Department has denied halving the traffic fines “for some GCC cars.”
Quoting one driver:
“I have never noticed that I had broken the traffic law,” he said. “However, when last week I wanted to drive into the country, I was told to pay 189,000 Qatari riyals in unpaid fines. I tried to explain that I was not aware of the violations and that I never received anything to inform me about them. They impounded my car and said that I would get it back only after paying the fines,” he said.
The situation has prompted several Saudi citizens to call for better coordination between the traffic authorities in Qatar and Saudi Arabia to ensure that drivers become instantly aware of their violations and pay their fines on time.
Credit: Photo by arwcheek