Traffic police will begin enforcing newer, stricter policies on Qatar’s roads by the end of this week, according to media reports.
Law No. 16 of 2015, which updates the existing traffic law No. 19 of 2007, was approved by the Emir in August, and doubles fines for overtaking on the right and parking in special needs spots unnecessarily.
Last month, Brig. Mohamed Saad Al Kharji, Director-General of the Ministry of Interior’s traffic department, said the new law would take effect at the start of the new year.
However, Al Raya now reports it will come into force one day earlier, on Thursday, Dec. 31.
Under the new legislation, motorists who have been fined for violating the traffic laws can get a 50 percent reduction on most offenses if they pay within 30 days of incurring the infraction.
However, there is no discount for those who have been caught overtaking on the right, driving overweight trucks or parking in a space designated for those with special needs, Al Kharji said last month.
Under the amended law, the fines for these violations have been increased from QR500 to QR1,000, while repeat offenders could face a jail term.
According to the Qatar Tribune, other violations that are excluded from the discount include:
- Reckless driving;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol;
- Fleeing the scene after causing an accident; and
- Allowing someone without a driver’s license to use your car.
The new law also penalizes more egregious violations with a new sliding scale of penalty points for speeding.
Motorists who exceed the limit by up to 30kph face one point, while drivers speeding in excess of 40, 50 and 60kph over the limit will incur two, three or four points respectively.
A driver who racks up 14 points will have their license suspended.
More road deaths, accidents
Though the new law takes effect this week, police likely won’t step up enforcement of the rules until at least the end of next year.
Last month, when asked about why more motorists are not pulled over for traffic offenses, Al Kharji told Doha News that police officers are currently too busy directing traffic on Qatar’s increasingly congested roads to ticket offenders.
However, he added that by the end of 2016, the department plans to double the number of police officers patrolling Doha and heavily populated parts of Al Rayyan, after more new recruits – armed with instructions to pull over rule-breaking motorists – complete their training courses.