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YASA has just referred to the Lebanese justice the case she compiled on the corruption of driving licenses. It is to be noted that the association works also with the Comity for Transportations and Public Works at the Lebanese Parliament for a reform of the road code that will be released the last semester of 2007.
Since driving license exams in Lebanon are listed among the worst in the world, here are some details related to what ought to be called a “mafia”, a mafia that is operating its driving licenses commerce in Lebanon.

A LBP 50 000 bribe is enough to buy your driving license without having to take any exam. With around 40 00 and 50 000 driving licenses delivered in Lebanon every year, profits made by this mafia can amount to millions of dollars.
The YASA strived to inform the Lebanese society on all the information it gathered from its investigations and to refer them to justice. We urge the Lebanese Justice to punish as soon as possible this corruption, thus protecting the life of citizens in daily danger. Around two years ago, some corrupted persons are putting pressure on candidates to the driving license to force them to pay bribes that will supposedly let them get their driving license from the first time. Millions of dollars are therefore collected by this mafia. These pressures are based on the so-called difficulty of the exam and the cost for obtaining the driving licenses.
The reason behind the driving license application that does not meet legal conditions is first the license fees since the driving license is nowadays a must in order to circulate in Lebanon. In order to be legal, the driving license costs LBP 260 000. In case of failure, the candidate should pass the test again and add the amount of LBP 110 000 totaling LBP 370 000, which is even higher than the minimum salary. If the candidate fails another time, LBP 15 000 is added to the amount (reaching a total of LBP 485 000). These fees are the main source of blackmail on the Lebanese citizen. When confronted with these amounts, it is definitely less expensive for the candidate to pay the bribe to make sure he is granted the license from the first time.

In order to overcome this problem, YASA is working with the Ministry of Interior for the reform of the driving license. The 2006-2007 budget project published in the Official Journal dated 2/3/2007, already foresees a reduction in driving license fees: from now on, additional LBP 30 000 are charged in case the candidate fails the first time (which totals LBP 290 000 against LBP 370 000 now). Another LBP 30 000 is to be added should he fail a second time totaling, LBP 315 000 against LBP 485 000 mow). This represents a significant drop in fees without any harm caused to the returns of the treasury, the number of failing candidates nearing zero in the past.
Hence, the Lebanese citizen will prefer to pay LBP 30 000 rather than the LBP 50 000 that was charged by most exam commissions.
The YASA is convinced that this drop in fees would stop the pressure exercised on the citizens to get them to pay bribes to exam commissions and brokers prior to taking the tests.
Some brokers, driving schools along with exam commissions are the actors that are taking advantage of the current system. The YASA has a list of driving schools and names of some persons in charge that was referred with the case to the Ministry of Justice.

Corruption of Exam Commissions
Some exam commissions cash money against some practices aiming at making exams meaningless: oral exams are restricted to question related to road signals, whereas written exams vary according to where the exam is taken and to the mood of the examining commissions; the exam is turned into a pressure and blackmail mode against those who refuse to accept these practices. Moreover, these supplementary fees help exam commissions close the eyes on mistakes committed by the candidate and in certain cases they even dismiss him from the practical test. The difficulty lies in the texts do not clearly foresee success criteria, related noting grids or application modes or available recourse.
Exam commissions also cash fees against the violation of laws and regulations, i.e. when the candidate is dismissed from taking the exam, or even in certain cases when signing the report on his behalf. YASA has also stated that having been informed of lists and documents that have been destroyed after issuing the license, the establishment of lists that had not even been through exam commissions and duly signed without taking the exam along with the issuance of non registered licenses.
Responsibility of the Administration in charge of traffic management
But the problem doesn’t only lie in exam commissions. There is an administrative phase whose responsibility falls upon the office responsible for traffic administration and that is related to the distribution of the exam lists to exam commissions. This is where the core problem lies.
Decision 981/2005 of the Ministry of Interior explicitly stipulates in its article 6 that the responsibility of the general director of the administration is in charge of traffic management as to the distribution of the lists of driving license candidates to exam commissions.
It is known that the exam mission given to specialized commissions doesn’t fall under the competence of a fixed organization: at the contrary, it is chaotic. A great number of commissions don’t take into consideration any exam and register success rates nearing 100%.
Therefore, the distribution of lists is the main mode on which corrupters rely to share the bribes paid by Lebanese citizens.
It is sad and shameful that these questions are at the heart of the administration in charge of the traffic management: it is a matter that greatly affects the health and security of the civil society.
The above gives birth to a larger question tackling the state and the real will to have a state with all what it involves. Where is the inspection? Where are the people in charge? Where is the lift of banking secrecy ?

Believe It Or Not!
Driving Test Teams Suffer Corruption…

Unfortunately, our driving test teams suffer corruption! The consequences are grave! Annually, thousands of people are being killed and injured due to the great number of unqualified drivers who roam the roads day and night.
One of the corruption features of the driving test teams is “bribe” as a price of shortening the practical part of the test and briefing the number of questions and hence, guarantees the candidate’s success! If the qualified candidate refuses to pay, he fails the driving test!
The big bribe can also mean that the candidate succeeds the test even without attendance and this includes signing for him! All of this is a part of preparing test lists which would be destroyed later on! In addition, many driving licenses are being issued without registration at all!
The question is: What does law mean, and what is the duty of those who are responsible for enforcing the law?

Open letter to Lebanese youth
A call on behalf of the victims of Negligence in Lebanon

The difficult situation that we are experiencing currently in Lebanon drives us in YASA to work harder on accident prevention and on public safety promotion in our beloved country.

Dear Lebanese youth and Parents,

The current crises in Lebanon helped in the increase in the accident rate in Lebanon. The year 2007 registered a record in the number of victims in schools, swimming pools, beaches as well as the well known road crashes, all this goes back to the absence of the law enforcement and neglect of the persons in charge.
For over 12 years now, we at YASA have been struggling during the days and nights against the negligence, however little can be done in a country that sees human beings as a cheap entity.

YASA does not talk nor work in politics, but we say it loudly and clearly: it is the political situation that endangers the public safety of our dear Lebanon.
Roads are full of pot holes due to the absence of road maintenance; traffic law enforcement is like a dream while the parliament does not vote for a new one.
YASA has been and will continue its commitment and struggle against traffic crashes and towards improving safety conditions for the society. We assure everybody that despite the circumstances which slow down the change process in this blessed country, we will continue our work.

Finally, YASA is always ready to cooperate with honest and concerned people in order to change the present tragic situation and shift public safety to the top of priority list in 2008 and the other upcoming years.

Lebanon , Traffic Law

Date: 12/16/2014 2:31:37 PM

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