The offenders appear in a police photo after their arrest. Image Credit: SPA

Cairo: Saudi police have arrested 19 expatriates for unlawfully organising a motorcade and obstructing traffic on a public road.

The offenders – Syrian nationals – were seen driving their cars in an irregular assembly which they filmed and posted it on social media, a spokesman for the Riyadh police said.

“They were arrested. Legal procedures were taken against them and they were referred to prosecution,” the official said without saying when the incident took place.

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Saudi Arabia has recently toughened penalties against traffic offences to reduce road crashes. The kingdom’s police have reported arresting several motorists in different cases for committing documented violations while on the road.

In November, Saudi police said security patrols had arrested a woman in Riyadh after she had appeared in a video disrupting traffic and violating public morals.

A video circulating on social media at the time showed a woman standing next to a car with an open door and dancing to recorded music.

A month earlier, police said they had arrested another woman who had appeared in an online video disrupting traffic on a street in Riyadh.

In the footage, the woman is see shouting as she is strolling amid vehicles on the road while motorists and pedestrians are looking on.

In September, Saudi police said they had arrested two young men for having stopped their car in the middle of a road in 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.

Their act triggered an outcry on social media with critics calling for stern penalties.