Gulf | Saudi Arabia

Saudi drivers to stand trial for concealed plates

Abu Dhabi enforces strict law on attempts to avoid radar detection

  • By Habib Toumi Bureau Chief
  • Published: 14:02 January 29, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit:
  • Obscured or smudged Saudi car plates - Credit: Al Riyadh
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Manama: More than 150 Saudi nationals who reportedly concealed their car licence plates to avoid radar detection in the UAE will know their fate this week when a court in Abu Dhabi looks into their cases.

The Saudis who broke the law by obscuring their plates were apprehended and their cars impounded in the UAE after taking advantage of the school break in Saudi Arabia to drive into the Emirate, Saudi daily Al Riyadh reported on Tuesday.

Abu Dhabi public prosecution has instructed that the offenders not be released on bail and insisted on their trial in a bid to help put an end to a growing phenomenon that could be used to perpetrate crimes that were more ominous than breaking road laws, the daily said.

“We are saddened by the attitude of the Saudi nationals who ignored all our calls to avoid this type of traffic violations,” Ebrahim Bin Sa’ad Al Ebrahim, the Saudi ambassador to the UAE, told Al Riyadh. “We have issued several warnings and instructed the competent authorities to boost awareness campaigns at the border posts and alert drivers about the significance of complying with the strict traffic laws, but it is to no avail. Many Saudis who come to the UAE to enjoy themselves and be reunited with their families tend to ignore the law and end up in difficult situations that cause us embarrassment with our Emirati brothers,” he said.

Colonel Hamad Al Beloushi, the director of external roads and traffic at the Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols Directorate, said that up to three Saudi drivers are caught daily with concealed or obscured licence plates.

“The traffic laws are very clear here and in Saudi Arabia as well,” he said. “Many of our Saudi brothers tamper with their car plates and believe that they will not be detected by the radar.”

Under UAE traffic laws, tampering with a car plate results in prison for up to two years and/or a fine of Dh20,000.

Saudi and Qatari media on Monday reported that Qatar authorities have impounded 20 Saudi-registered cars at a border checkpoint after their drivers failed to pay traffic fines that in some cases reached 190,000 Qatari riyals (Dh191,685.)

Most of the fines were recorded by radars for speeding on the highway between the Abu Samra border post and the capital Doha, a distance of around 100km.

Other offences by Saudi drivers included illegal parking and jumping red lights.

A report in Saudi daily Okaz this week said that a note from the Qatari traffic authorities called for 42 Saudi-registered vehicles that broke the law on several occasions to be impounded.

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