Thursday, July 10, 2008

Teens Hate Traffic Police

Like other parts of the world... Although in the States the police are the police and they are not a wholly different entity, as they are here, "Traffic Police." But only teens that are doing something wrong have reason to hate the police [too strong of a word for this instance, hate].

Personally, if the Madinah traffic police are actually stopping people for running red lights or for speeding or doing the three and four-lane Saudi swing, then I commend them. They are the ONLY traffic police that are doing their job. You will not see traffic police in Khobar or Dammam stopping anyone but the occasional ex-pat. And, on the rare - I think I have seen it once - event a "local" is stopped, it is only seconds before "kiss, kiss, kiss" is played and the "local" is on the phone calling someone that has a job in some position which gives them some sort of authority to tell the traffic police to let the violator go ["wasta"]. Sounds to me as if the Madinah traffic police are actually being fair. "Violators are detained for 24 hours, and fined without any due consideration to their health, family circumstances and financial status." If you are speeding, you are speeding. What does "financial status" have to do with it?!?

The article says that, "In developed countries, officials try to spread the spirit of civic responsibility and the public and the traffic police work together to ensure order on the streets." No. In developed countries everyone is expected to adhere to traffic laws and the police do not play favorites in stopping one nationality over another. Perhaps you won't get thrown in jail on the spot for speeding or running a light, but you will be issued a ticket and summons to appear in court where you will have the opportunity to prove your innocence if the police do not have you recorded on radar doing 100 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour speed limit - or if you can prove that the car that is caught by the camera running a light is not yours. Get a certain number of tickets issued to you within a specified time period and you will go to jail; and it won't just be for 24 hours.

It would be good to see the rest of the Kingdom's traffic police follow the example of the Madinah traffic police and actually stop a few speeders or light-runners or Saudi swingers. The roads would be that much safer for the rest of us if everyone was required to adhere to the rules and laws, and if fines were issued the revenue in this country would increase astronomically.

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