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Radical new traffic law adopted which fines careless drivers up to 3 million LBP

Radical new traffic law adopted which fines careless drivers up to 3 million LBP…if it can be implemented

Lebanon's much needed Traffic Law has finally been put into effect by the Lebanese Shura Council which could mean an end to the lawlessness on the country's roads which this year alone took 537 lives.

While new traffic fines can now cost violators up to 3 million LBP, most of the Lebanese have not yet been aware of them, and those who have, mockingly question their efficiency.

"We aim to reach a time with no traffic violations" said Gen. Joseph Mouslem, head of public relations division in the Internal Security Forces. "There are plenty of causes for traffic accidents; the main ones are breaking speed limits, alcohol and the use of cell phone while driving".

According to the General Directorate of the internal security forces statement, the new law No. 243 is already being implemented. Offenses include exceeding the speed limit by 60Km/hour, driving without a license and driving with a blood alcohol level of more than one gram per liter of blood.

Yet adopting the law and implementing it are two different matters.

Annahar went further to check on the legal aspect of the law and contacted lawyer Lahoud Lahoud, the legislative consultant of YASA – a road safety NGO - who participated in drafting the new law. Lahoud praised the new traffic law as it is "one of the most modern traffic laws in the world and has proved its effectiveness in countries where it has been implemented, like France, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and others". The new traffic law "stands on scientific basis and is tested to fit Lebanese roads standards". He added.

The main problem, Lahoud stated, is "the absence of a firm legislative course in which citizens acquire their driving licenses. In that sense, the new law will be enforced by implementing specialized schools that adopt technical expertise and a new road safety curriculum".

On the technical details of the law, Lahoud explained that "under the new system, each driver begins with 12 points. Points are lost with violations, with the number lost determined by the seriousness of the violation. Upon the loss of all points, a driver loses their driving license for six months during which time they must take a course at a driving school".

Answering a question on the sustainability of this law, Lahoud warned that "the application of the law is now within the government's hands", expressing his dissatisfaction toward the government's procrastination concerning the law application.

Marwan Fayad, Captain of Public Drivers Syndicate, said in an interview with Annahar that the new law is "excellent and fair. We need severe offences to stop the increase in the numbers of violations and victims".
Echoing Lahoud, Fayad said that the syndicate, which had also participated in writing the draft law, "does not have any comment on it as the law can be sustainable and implemented on all Lebanese roads".
On the other side, citizens, who are still not completely aware of the new law, expressed their reaction between frustration and mockery.

"This is a scandal" said one of the public drivers to Annahar. "They should have done awareness campaigns and well-informed the people before setting it into action". He added.

Another citizen added "No one will abide by it, even the security forces who are supposed to enforce it".
What hangs in the end is whether this law will be strictly implemented or the country will go again by the usual Lebanese motto "When it comes to driving in this country, what's on papers stays on papers, and what's on roads stays on the roads!" 

Lebanon , Traffic Law

Date: 12/26/2014 8:03:44 AM

By: YASA WEB , جريدة النهار-لبنان
 
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