AMMAN — Jordanians have largely praised the new traffic law that will enter into effect on Tuesday.
The amended Traffic Law was endorsed by a Royal Decree and published in the Official Gazette recently.
The law aims to “provide a safe environment on the roads by increasing penalties for dangerous violations that could result in accidents, injuries and fatalities”.
One of the most serious among these violations is running a red light, according to the Public Security Directorate (PSD).
Running a red light will result in a prison term ranging from one to two months, and a fine between JD200 and JD300. In the case of repeat offences within the span of one year, the penalty will be doubled.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is another dangerous traffic violation that the new law aims to deter.
This violation will result in a prison term ranging from one to three months and/or a fine ranging between JD250 and JD500. The presiding judge has the authority to impose both the prison sentence and the fine, and also has the discretion to confiscate the driver’s licence for two months.
There will also be a JD50 fine imposed on motorists who use their mobile phones while operating a vehicle, the PSD stated in a video clip made available to media agencies.
Motorists who exceed the speed limit by 50km/h will be subject to one to three months imprisonment or a JD100 fine, or both penalties. The fine will be doubled in the case of a repeat violation within one year.
Reckless driving or driving without a licence plate will result in a prison term ranging from one to two months and/or a fine between JD200 and JD300.
The judge has the authority to impose both the prison sentence and the fine, in addition to seizing the motorist’s vehicle from one to 30 days, according to the PSD.
“When will these new laws come into effect? We want to drive safely on the roads,” Zaid Zaid wrote on the PSD’s Traffic Department Facebook page.
Marwan Rawashdeh added addressing the Traffic Department: “We appreciate your efforts in the field. Please continue because the souls of people are precious.”
Naser Jalal also praised the new law stating: “Strict measures and fines are the only means to stop reckless drivers and bloody accidents. Our efforts are highly appreciated”.
Meanwhile, Nasser Al Qaisi wrote that he was hopeful that “the law will be applied fairly for all motorists”.
Ahmad Harasis saw the new traffic law as a means “to collect money by the government”.
The PSD has launched a heavy social media campaign educating motorists on changes to penalties for traffic violations before the application of the law.
The campaign is intended to warn motorists of the updated fines and penalties for the most dangerous traffic violations.
One of the clauses of the new law stipulates that a motorist will not face legal consequences if he or she hits a pedestrian who fails to cross a street using designated crossing areas.
This clause did not exist in the old law.
The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) has also announced revamping plans that targeted the capital’s streets by painting crossing lines and adding traffic signs to alert motorists of the pedestrian crossing areas.
Last year, 203 pedestrians were killed by cars, according to traffic officials.
Former traffic officials and experts praised the newly endorsed traffic law, saying that it will work to reduce accidents and fatalities, and will alter reckless driving behaviours and bad habits.
Interior Minister Mazen Faraya recently revealed that the ministry recorded 169,000 road accidents last year, which resulted in 562 deaths and 17,096 injuries.
The minister also shared data from this year, saying that from January through July, there were 27,383 deaths and 6,331 injuries due to road accidents reported.
Authorities recorded tens of thousands of offences last year, including running red lights, driving against the flow of traffic and reckless driving, Faraya added.
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