Bahrain to act over speeding
Published: Tuesday, 21 August, 2007, 06:59 AM Doha Time
MANAMA: Bahrain will be cracking down on speeding and traffic offences as the death toll on its roads continues to mount, authorities said yesterday.
Thirty-six deadly traffic collisions occurred in the first six months of this year, up from 35 in the same period last year, the head of the General Directorate of Traffic (GDT) Colonel Sheikh Khalifah bin Hassan al-Khalifah told reporters.
Earlier this year the GDT said that more than 400,000 tickets had been issued in 2006, with speeding violations topping the list with 72,520 bookings, followed by 26,752 violations for failing to use seatbelts.
According to GDT figures, speeding continued to be the leading cause of accidents, with 200 tickets being issued to drivers each day.
Officials say they will be deploying more cameras and taking a more proactive approach to raise awareness.
The cameras were not just to check speeding violations but to document bad driving behaviour, which could later be used as evidence in court, according to the GDT’s deputy director Lieutenant Colonel Sheikh Abdurrahman bin Sobah al-Khalifah.
Khalifah and Abdurrahman however agreed that the problem was compounded by the fact that drivers’ behaviour had deteriorated in recent years and that the number of cars on the roads, which are about to reach full capacity, had continued to rise sharply.
Some 353,920 vehicles were registered with the GDT by end of June, up 8.4% from the 326,454 registered by the end of June 2006, Khalifah said.
Some 7,000 to 8,000 additional cars come across the causeway from Saudi Arabia daily, with up to 20,000 vehicles coming on weekends.
The new Traffic Law is currently awaiting parliamentary approval.
The proposed law would include a points system, higher fines for traffic offences and a rehabilitation system for offending drivers. – DPA