There are no new amendments to the currently applicable Traffic Law, a senior official has clarified, dispelling information to the contrary circulating on social media.
"The fines for accidents caused on account of not ensuring proper distance between the involved vehicles or driving across a road when it is unsafe to do so are already included in the Traffic Law," Major Jabir Mohamed Odaiba, assistant director of Media and Traffic Awareness at the Traffic Department explained.
Speaking to local Arabic daily Arrayah, he pointed out that an internal circular issued by Captain Ali Ahmed al-Aswad, director of Madinat Khalifa Traffic Investigation Department, citing the above violations was meant as a reminder for the traffic police.
"The circular in question was recently circulated on social media claiming that new fines for such traffic violations were introduced," the official said.
The circular stated that violations of Article 64 for not keeping enough distance between the vehicles involved in a road traffic accident entails a fine of QR1,000. Violation of Article 46 by driving across roads without ensuring safety and cause an accident, attracts a fine of QR500.
Major Odeiba explained that such violations are subject to judgment and estimation of the traffic policemen investigating the accident in question. The main aim is to ensure that motorists abide by the necessary road safety procedures and rules for their own safety and the safety of all other road users.
Article 64 of Law no (19) of 2007 Regarding the Traffic Law stipulates that motorists shall leave enough distance from the vehicle in front, and pay attention to its driver’s signals, and only overtake from the left side after giving adequate indication. A change of direction may take place gradually after making sure that traffic conditions allow the same.
Overtaking is prohibited at sharp bends, on bridges, convex corners, roundabouts, and footpaths. A motorist should not accelerate when another vehicle is overtaking and need to wait until the other vehicle completes the procedure.
No overtaking when visibility is poor. It is prohibited to overtake vehicles of police and Internal Security Force, ambulances or Civil Defence and rescue vehicles when they are engaged in an emergency mission and using alarm and hazard lights. On the contrary motorists should give way to such vehicles and leave a minimum distance of 50m from them.
Similary, stationary passenger buses and minibuses used for transporting students should not be overtaken in residential areas.
Article 46 of the same law stipulates that driver of a vehicle who intends to exit from the lane he is in, move towards the right lane or left lane, turn left or right to join a side road, enter a place adjacent to the road, leave the road, reverse or perform a U-turn, shall ensure it is safe to do so without endangering oneself or others.
When turning right, keep as close to the right side of the carriageway as possible and when turning left, vice versa. Do not use more than one lane at the same time, except when turning.