Beirut: Speeding drivers on one of Beirut’s busiest highways didn’t expect to be stopped at a non-traditional checkpoint last week.
Neither did they expect to be handed an unusual type of ticket.
During a weeklong campaign, reckless drivers in the Lebanese capital were asked to pull over by traffic safety campaigners along the Khalde Highway and given speeding tickets that bore a statement that read, “Thank God for your safety”.
In September 2018, a young Lebanese girl, Amar Al Ghali, died in a fatal accident caused by a speeding driver on the highway.
She was 18.
Following her demise, Amar’s mother Ghada Hussein, activists and friends launched a Non-Governmental Organisation called [Taydal Al Amar Ghali], which means in Arabic; for the moon (meaning of the girl’s first name) to remain valuable (meaning of the family name).
The NGO’s main objective is to increase awareness about safe driving and highlight traffic laws that Lebanese people either fail to acknowledge or don’t know about, and that the Lebanese government faces challenges in implementing.
In collaboration with the Lebanese Internal Security Forces’ [ISF] traffic department, the NGO members and activists took to the same spot where the ill-fated accident happened to stop speeding drivers and handed them the unusual type of speeding tickets.
Campaigners were seen signaling to speeding cars and asking them to pull over at the roadside where drivers were handed tickets that looked like real police speeding tickets.
The tickets had an Arabic statement that read ‘Thank God for your safety’, as well as statistics highlighting how speeding accidents kill 1,000 people and injure nearly 10,000 others annually.
The unusual tickets called on drivers to constantly stick to speed limits and abide to traffic laws because their beloved ones were waiting for them.
An ISF official told Gulf News: “The campaign was new and successful. Most drivers, who were given speeding-ticket-like brochures with the aim to warn them against the tragic consequences of reckless driving, cooperated and interacted positively. We constantly enlighten the public and campaign against inattentive, reckless and illegal driving.”
The speeding drivers were also taken to the exact point where the Amar was killed and shown a video about the accident and vulnerabilities of reckless driving.