New traffic laws in Qatar
In a major move to curb the growing number of accidents and reckless driving on Qatarʼs roads, the government yesterday promulgated a new Traffic Law, stipulating severe penalties for violators including a point system which would ultimately lead to the cancellation of a habitual offenderʼs driving license.
Decree No 19 of 2007, issued by HH the Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, said a driving license may be suspended for three months when the total violations reached 14 points for the first time.
If the same person gathered 12 points again, his license would be suspended for six months, nine months on the accumulation of the next 10 points and one year for the next eight points.
Ultimately, a driving license may be cancelled if the same offender earned six points for the fifth time.
The penalty for using mobile phones while driving has been enhanced. The violator will have to pay a minimum fine of QR 3,000 and a maximum fine of QR 10,000. He is also liable for imprisonment up to one year.
Motorists who commit violations like driving with no authorized license, driving under the influence of liquor, driving in the opposite direction of traffic flow, escaping from the accident site, causing sound and air pollution and exceeding the speed limit would be punishable by imprisonment from one month to three years or fined QR10,000 to 50,000 or both.
According to the new law, the punishment for the following offences are also the same as mentioned above: Not wearing seat belts, allowing children below 10 years sit in the front passenger seat, not giving way to official motorcades and the vehicles of the police, civil defense and ambulances, not leaving enough space between two vehicles and motorcyclists allowing another passenger sit behind them (pillion riding).
The law stipulates that the driver and the front seat passenger should wear seat belts all the time.
Cyclists should keep to the right side of the road and should ride in one line. Motorcyclists are not allowed to ride on one wheel. Both should wear helmets.
VIOLATION POINT SYSTEM:
Violators of traffic rules will be given negative points as follows:
Jumping the red light 7
Driving in the opposite direction 6
Driving under the influence of alcohol 6
Exceeding the maximum speed 4
Driving recklessly and dangerously 4
Driving with defective brakes 4
Driving with inappropriate license 3
Driving with stripped or invalid license 3
Violating norms of public morality 3
Driving an unregistered vehicle 3
Driving a vehicle without number plates 3
Unauthorized changes made to number plates 3
Providing wrong information to pass the technical inspection 3
Using the vehicle for the wrong purpose 3
Blocking the flow of traffic intentionally 3
Driving a vehicle without a proper silencer 3
Driving a polluting vehicle 3
Driving a vehicle that leaks any material that can damage the road 3
Driving a vehicle which drops loads which can endanger the public safety 3
Driving on the embankment 3
Making a wrong U-turn 3
Changing a vital part of the vehicle without a written permission from the authorities 3
Giving the license to someone who has no license 2
Driving a vehicle with unclear number plates 2
Driving with only one number plate, or changing their shape or detail 1
Refraining from giving driving license to traffic police 1
Trucks violating the load conditions 1
Trucks violating the width, length, or weight regulations of the vehicle 1
Driving a technically unsafe vehicle 1
Using lights, horns, microphones, or other machines against the law 1
Disobeying traffic signs 1