Driving and using the mobile phone
Jordan has increased fines for motorists who use their mobile phones while driving. Image Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: Those caught jumping the red light in Jordan now face one to two months in jail and a fine of 200 to 300 dinars.

This follows amendments to the Traffic Law for 2023 in response to the rising number of accidents and vehicles on the road.

The revamped law will take effect 30 days after its announcement in the Official Gazette.

The new amendments aim to mitigate traffic mishaps by enforcing stringent penalties for infractions that lead, either directly or indirectly, to the loss of life.

This move also seeks to penalise habitual transgressors of traffic safety norms, modernise the traffic safety tariffs, and streamline traffic regulations to align with technological advancements in the field of traffic and transportation.

The reformed law delineates traffic mishaps as unintentional occurrences, distinctly separating them from premeditated incidents. It ups the ante on penalties, notably raising the fine for mobile phone use while driving from 15 dinars to 50 dinars.

Public vehicle operators can be penalised 10 dinars for smoking or permitting passengers to do so. Those who speed, particularly those surpassing limits by over 50 km/h, could face up to three months’ imprisonment and a 100 dinar fine, which doubles for subsequent offenses within a year.

In addition, the law has revised the penalties concerning road processions during celebrations and conferred authority upon public security personnel to administer alcohol and drug tests for drivers when necessary.

Brigadier General Firas Al Duwairi, Director of the Traffic Department, said that 220 fatalities have been attributed to traffic accidents this year. A staggering 98.8 per cent of these accidents are ascribed to human blunders. The most prevalent driver errors leading to injuries were identified as a failure to exercise caution, lane violations, and neglecting priority rules.

Data collated by the Jordan News Agency (Petra) over the past six years paints a grim picture. The nation has witnessed a colossal 915,114 traffic mishaps, culminating in 3,511 deaths, 5,408 severe casualties, and a financial setback of approximately two billion dinars. The year 2020, marred by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent movement restrictions, still registered 122,970 accidents, underscoring the inadequacy of previous traffic sanctions in curtailing such incidents.