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Point system to stem traffic violations.

JEDDAH: Nadim Al-Hamid

A plan to use a point system which will replace the current fine system for reducing traffic violations is under study, an informed source at the Riyadh Traffic Department told Arab News.

"The traffic department is seriously thinking of implementing the point system plan against drivers," the source said adding: "The new point system will help reduce traffic violations by more than 90 percent nationwide."

He explained that the present system based on imposing fines on violators was not very effective in reducing traffic violations.

Traffic safety experts believe that the point system will be a powerful deterrent for reckless drivers. "Careless drivers simply pay the fines and then revert to violating the system as before," they said.

They pointed out that a sound traffic strategy should have four components: Discipline, notification, reporting, and punishment.

Recently, Al-Ghamidi, Omar Al Mufadda, and Col. Khalid Al Qahtani said that the penalty component needs more detailed treatment, because in addition to its physical and financial dimensions (by which they mean imprisonment and paying fines), there is the moral dimension, which is no less important.

"A driver who does not care about how much money he pays in the form of fines will be more mindful of traffic rules if he is under threat of suspension of his license," they said.

"Even if he pays the fine, the decision to suspend his license remains in effect. In addition, the suspension will cause the driver to run into difficulties with the insurance companies, as they will be asking for a premium to insure reckless drivers," they said.

They also recommended the establishment of a Speed Department in each city in the Kingdom, which will operate on the major intercity highways. "The unit will be instrumental in combating speed, the leading cause of traffic accidents in the Kingdom," they said.

The Kingdom's roads suffer more than 1,500 traffic accidents with more than 30 fatalities daily. Over 40,000 people are injured annually with more than 80 percent of the cases incurring motor function impairments.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most accident-prone countries in the world with the number of fatalities exceeding 8,000 people every year.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Apr 28, 2014
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