Qatar announces 50 percent discount on unpaid traffic fines

Qatar announces 50 percent discount on unpaid traffic fines
2 min read
12 Jan, 2016
Blog: Got a fine in 2015? You can pay it off at half price, as transport officials try to claw back lost revenue from unpaid penalties.
Traffic in Doha's diplomatic district is notorious, as are driving standards [Getty]
In a bid to encourage Doha's speed demons, reckless roadhogs and bad parkers to part ways with their cash, Qatar's traffic bosses have taken to Facebook to urge the country's dodgy drivers to finally pay their dues. 

And, as an incentive to comply with the law, the Qatari General Directorate of Traffic announced that all traffic-related fines accrued before 31 December 2015 will be subject to a 50 percent discount - if paid before 7 April.

The move is thought to be a reaction to the huge numbers of fines levied in 2015, and the historical issues that Qatar has had collecting unpaid fines, especially from those who do not live in the country.

In 2015, more than 1.5 million traffic violations were recorded - in a country with fewer than a million registered vehicles - and the Qatari government clearly hopes to collect much of the money missing from the transport ministry's coffers.

In 2013, a group of 42 Saudi drivers were responsible for drumming up more than 5,000 traffic violations and accruing unpaid fines worth more than 2.7million Qatari Riyals ($730,000).

Some have praised the move, with one Facebook user who clearly doesn't get out much calling the decision the "best new year's gift ever".

Unfortunately, some were less happy, having already paid their fines. Bonnie Bongso said: "Yesterday I paid a full amount of 500 QR [$140]. Feeling Sad. Should have waited."

Others have even asked if the Ministry of Interior would consider reimbursing them for 50 percent of the full fine they've already paid. It is understood they are still to receive an official response.

In a separate move, fines regarding parking in places reserved for wheelchair users will be doubled to 1,000 QR [$280], and no discounts will be made available for offenders.

There were 152,052 traffic violations in October 2015, which fell slightly to 134,107 in November.

Have you been fined for driving in Qatar? Did you pay the full amount? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or by tweeting at us: @The_NewArab