In Qatar, making changes to vehicles without permission from the authorities is a violation that is punishable with a fine of QR1,500, a General Directorate of Traffic official has said. These include making any unauthorised change to the colour of a vehicle as well as to the shape of number plates, altering the details on them, or loaning/exchanging them.
Captain Mohamed Abdullah al-Kuwari from the Traffic Awareness Department of the General Directorate of Traffic said this at a webinar Tuesday. The webinar on Traffic Law No 19/2007 was organised by the Ministry of Interior’s Public Relations Department in co-operation with the Traffic Awareness Department.
“Driving under the influence of alcohol, and running away, or trying to run away, in case of an accident, are offences that draw imprisonment and penalty,” Capt al-Kuwari warned, noting that some violations can be settled through reconciliation while some cannot.
The official also said that obstructing traffic through illegal construction or the destruction of roads will result in stringent action.
“Any kind of obstruction caused by illegal construction or destruction, or by making holes on roads that may obstruct traffic or cause harm to drivers, draws imprisonment of a minimum one month or a fine ranging from QR10,000-15,000,” Capt al-Kuwari said.
The same penalty applies for not putting up warning signs and cautionary boards, and for not following the rules and regulations of licensing authorities during the construction of roads. He said that violating customs and the norms of public morality inside a vehicle, or allowing someone to do it, is subject to the same penalty and punishment.
“The punishment will be doubled by the minimum level in case of repeating the same violation,” he said.
Capt al-Kuwari urged drivers to be careful on roads and not to damage public infrastructure.
He noted that drivers are responsible and accountable for the damage caused and reminded that some types of damage are not covered by insurance companies.
Capt al-Kuwari explained the fines and penalties imposed for different violations. He said that accidents have social and psychological impacts and that everyone should be careful while driving to ensure public safety.
Capt al-Kuwari added that the “black points” demerit system was introduced with the aim of preventing accidents and penalising errant drivers. He also urged people not to drive non-registered vehicles, without a valid licence, and not to give their vehicles to people who drive without a licence.