Tougher traffic law plans under way in Bahrain
Manama, January 21, 2014
A draft traffic law that contains tougher penalties will be discussed by the Shura Council next Monday (January 27).
The council's general secretariat, which held an urgent meeting on the sidelines of yesterday's session, approved a request by foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Dr Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa to dedicate special time to discuss the issue, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Parliament unanimously approved the law last June, paving the way for stricter traffic punishments.
Some penalties have been quadrupled as the government seeks to get tough on those who put the safety of other road users, passengers and pedestrians at risk.
However, the council introduced new amendments in an attempt to reduce the penalties - with some claiming that the draft law is simply too tough.
"The amendments will see parliament's punishments as the maximum, while we introduced different minimums according to offences," Dr Shaikh Khalid told the GDN.
"It will be left to the judge to determine the punishment, whether a fine or jail sentence, or both, from the range we have drawn up.
"We have to consider that MPs have a point in coming up with tougher punishments considering the seriousness of traffic violations. But they treat everyone committing a particular offence the same, while in reality situations and circumstances differ and for that we, as legislators, have to come up with different scenarios."
The proposed law has been pending for six years and will replace existing legislation dating back 35 years.
Some of the new punishments include imprisonment up to six months and a fine of BD50 ($131) to BD500, or both, for deliberately jumping a red light.
If it causes death, injury or damage to public or private property then the punishment is between three months and a year in jail, a fine of BD1,000 to BD3,000 or both. - TradeArabia News Service