Stock crime police jailed
After arrest in Mecca, they were referred to public prosecution. Illustrative image. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: Saudi police said they had arrested two citizens involved in putting an automatic speed monitor on a highway out of order, as authorities seek to curb traffic tragedies.

The kingdom’s General Directorate of Public Security said one of the pair had appeared in a video standing in front of a speed monitor camera and putting it out of order while the other filmed the act and posted it on social media.

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After arrest in Mecca, they were referred to public prosecution.

Under Saudi law, vandalism of public utilities is punishable by a maximum of two years in prison and fines of up to SR100,000 or one of the two penalties.

Last September, Saudi police said they arrested two young men for having stopped their car in the middle of a road in the capital Riyadh to take photos.

The offenders — a Saudi and a Yemeni resident — were accused of blocking traffic on a public road with their car, putting other lives at risk and violating public morals. They also documented their unlawful act.

A police video showed the duo while one of them taking photos of the other as traffic on the road came to a standstill. Their act triggered an outcry on social media with critics calling for stern penalties.

Saudi Arabia has recently toughened penalties for traffic offences with the annual cost of road accidents in the kingdom estimated at around SR11.7 billion.

Serious road accidents reached 16,962 in 2022, down 6.8 per cent against the previous year, the Saudi General Authority for Statistics said last week.

Some 4,555 people died due to these accidents last year, a 2.1 per cent drop compared to 2021. Some 24,400 people were injured in the 2022 accidents, a 4.2 per cent decrease against the previous year.