Ministry of Interior will start recording violations of traffic rules by pedestrians from first of August and will impose a fine of up to QR500 depending on the type of offence.

This was announced during a seminar on the “rights and responsibilities of pedestrians” held today at the headquarters of the General Directorate of Traffic.

As per the traffic law, there will be three types of penalties. In case the pedestrian is walking on the middle of the carriageway or not using pavements (sidewalk) when available or not using the far edge of carriageway opposite the direction of driving in the absence of pavements, they will face a fine of QR 100.

If the pedestrians are not taking the required precautions or not using designated crossing areas to cross the road, the fine will be QR200.

A fine of QR 500 will be levied in case pedestrian doesn’t follow traffic signals while crossing the road at the intersection and when traffic police allow vehicles to move. The same amount will be charged if anyone breaks through military parades and processions.

Col Nasser Darman Al Hajeri, Assistant Director-General of Traffic and Lt Col Jaber Mohammed Odeiba, Assistant Director of Traffic Awareness Department attended the seminar.

“This symposium is held to clarify the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians, who represent a large proportion of road users that may exceed the number of drivers,” Lt Col Odebia said.

He said that more details like how the fine will be collected from the pedestrians will be announced later when the law comes into force, adding that it will be implemented through the ID card.

He pointed out that the purpose of this awareness seminar is to create a pedestrian traffic culture. The pedestrian should use crosswalks or footbridges to cross the road while motorists are obliged to respect the rights of the pedestrians to cross safely even in the absence of a traffic signal and on internal roads.

First Lt Abdul Rahman Al Aawi, Officer at Traffic Studies and Research Department said that despite the decline in pedestrian accidents in 2018, a number of recommendations need to be implemented to reduce pedestrian accidents.

“These include the need for more pedestrian crossings, construction of traffic barriers and guardrails in the median of the main streets and highways, prevent pedestrians from crossing from undesignated areas, planning of footpaths, placing of light signals on intersections, as well as ground reflectors. Increasing the width of sidewalks on roads crowded with pedestrians, putting iron barriers in places other than those designated for pedestrian crossing are part of the recommendations,” Lt Al Aawi said.

“Not considering the speed and distance of the oncoming vehicle poses a grave risk for the safety of the pedestrian when crossing from undesignated areas,” high-lighted Lt Majid Ali Al-Khulaifi from the Traffic Patrols and Investigation Department. He also pointed out metal guardrails placed in the median of roads are meant to protect and save the life of the pedestrians.

Safety awareness drive aimed at educating pedestrians will be carried out in various languages including Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Nepalese and Malayalam. Local media, social media, field awareness activities and seminars will be part of the campaign.