Bahrain: Jump red light and land in jail
Manama, February 11, 2014
Tougher penalties for violating Bahrain’s traffic law, including imprisoning drivers jumping red lights, were approved by the Shura Council.
Council members completed revising the 64-article law, but a final vote on the entire bill will be taken next Monday because they disagreed on three articles, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
One of them punishes drivers using mobile phones with a jail sentence of up to six months and a maximum fine of BD500 ($1,312).
Under new amendments approved yesterday, people using regular vehicles as taxis or public transport would be sentenced to up to six months in jail, fined between BD100 and BD1,000, or both.
Operators, managers and drivers who neglect safety requirements in licensed taxis and public transportation will also face the same punishment.
Drivers jumping a red light will be jailed for up to six months and fined between BD100 and BD500, or both.
If jumping a red light leads to an accident or damage to public or private property then the jail sentence will be between three months and a year, or a fine between BD1,000 and BD3,000, or both.
If it leads to death then the punishment will be doubled.
Interior Ministry Assistant Under-Secretary for Legal Affairs Brigadier Mohammed Buhamood dismissed demands by council members to introduce timers on traffic lights to reduce accidents caused by jumping red lights.
“People have to respect traffic signs, the allocated speed of the road and stop when the traffic light is red,” he said.
“The issue is not with the objects (traffic lights) and we don’t need to set up timers on top of them because if people abide by rules and regulations then they would immediately stop when it turns from yellow to red, but several people don’t care about colours and just want to save time, despite the wait being a maximum of a minute.
“Attitude has to change if people want accidents to get reduced because with recklessness comes unbearable consequences.”
The council also approved inserting a new article in the law obliging parents to have child safety seats in their cars, which was presented during the session by council member and former Health Minister Dr Nada Haffadh. - TradeArabia News Service