Manama: Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti has ruled out attempts to cheat a traffic system, saying that it had to be fully respected.

Traffic authorities have introduced Al Saher system to check chaotic driving and monitor violations that included mainly jumping red lights. Under the system used mainly in large cities, drivers are immediately fined for breaking regulations with penalties increasing in case fines are not paid within a specific period of time.

However, some drivers have been resorting to cheating to avoid being caught, mainly by covering the licence plates.

“Cheating is not permitted in Islam and drivers have to avoid it,” Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Al Shaikh said. “The system was set up to regulate traffic, help people and check reckless driving. It is not the nemesis of drivers and it exists to help and make life easier, not to hinder people or worsen their conditions. We see that it is positive, especially as it has imposed a speed limit,” he said, quoted by local Arabic daily Okaz on Saturday.

People should not be negative towards systems or concepts that help regulate their lives, the Grand Mufti said.

“Al Saher has been a great deterrent against speeding and breaking traffic rules. It has helped maintain respect on the road. Abiding by the law and cooperating with others are highly required from all drivers,” he said.

Saudi Arabia has one of the highest traffic accident rates in the Arab world and the authorities have often launched campaigns to reduce the alarming figures and restore a better driving culture. However, the campaigns have not yielded the expected results and the authorities launched Al Saher system to control traffic, particularly at junctions and on highways.

The frequency of the fines has been a clear indication of the high level of violations committed on Saudi roads.