New traffic law approved for Hajj, Umrah transportation companies

Sunday, February 2, 2020

The transport department of Saudi Arabia has amended its traffic regulations for heavy transport with the imposition of hefty fines over a series of reported violations by buses of different Umrah and Hajj transportation companies.

The list released by the Saudi Arabian traffic police reported 221 violations including 87 from specialised transport, 95 violations related to the laws of awarding buses’ contracts and 39 for routes of the buses, said a report of Akhbaar 24.

The new law defines a special standard to be maintained by the companies provided transportation facilities to the pilgrims of Hajj and Umrah that will have to get NOC first from the Ministry fo Hajj and Umrah. The transportation companies are restricted to provide buses until issuance of NOC after a detailed inspection by a concerned committee of the ministry.

Over violation of the law, the company will face a fine of 5000 riyals, whereas, 2000 riyals will be imposed as fine if the bus is allowing passengers to carry any material that may harm others in the vehicle. The same amount of fine will be imposed if the bus is not parked at the designated place for boarding and departure.

Under the new law, 2000 riyals fine will be imposed if the driver is found using mobile phone or travelling without closing the door of the vehicle. A fine of 1000 riyals will be slapped over exceeding the capacity of luggage and passengers and 500 riyals on smoking in the vehicle by drivers or allowing any passenger in the bus. A fine of 500 riyals will be charged when the driver refuses to help disabled persons during the journey.

It is pertinent to mention here that the private companies that are providing transportation facilities to the Hajj and Umrah pilgrims usually acquired low-standard buses which led to deadly accidents. The new law has also put restrictions for allowing only buses meeting the fitness standards on long routes.