Manama: A Saudi driver received a SR966,500 (Dh946,500, $257,000) fine for crossing a red light.
This week Marzouq Al Rouqi, a well-known poet, received a message on his mobile informing him that he had to pay the exorbitant amount for the traffic violation.
The poet said that he read the message “dozens of times” and could not believe that he was asked to pay the huge fine.
“This could mean that the messages sent out to drivers to pay SR500 or SR600 for traffic violations could also be wrong,” he said, quoted by local news site Sabq on Thursday.
“I urge the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation to check the veracity of the messages,” he said.
Saudi Arabia, keen on fighting chaotic driving and road offences, has introduced Saher, an automated traffic control and management system that covers major cities in the country.
The system uses a network of digital cameras and fixed and mobile radars to automatically, without human intervention, monitor and control traffic violations. It also issues traffic violation tickets and notifies violators.
Under a new traffic law, traffic violations are doubled if lawbreakers do not pay them within one month.
“All citizens and residents must update their information [mobile phone, mail and address] to avoid the non-arrival of their traffic violation tickets within one month, as the value of traffic violation tickets will be doubled to the highest rate if not settled within one month from the date of issuance,” Saher warns on its website.