SR500 fine for Saudi taxi drivers without uniform

JEDDAH: Drivers of cabs, ride-sharing services and even private cars need to consider safety and the readiness of their vehicles before hitting the roads, as the Public Transport Authority (PTA) has started imposing fines on drivers violating its operating regulations.

Speaking to Arab News, PTA inspector Bakr Hawsawi said that the fines being imposed on violating drivers are harsh enough to make motorists stick to the rules and regulations that are made for the safety of both drivers and riders alike.

“We fine cab drivers having no meter installed with SR5,000 ($1,333), while a fine of SR500 will be imposed on drivers for not wearing their uniform,” the inspector said. He said that the same amount should be paid by drivers whose cars look unclean from the outside, or are found dirty on the inside.

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Hawsawi noted that the absence or unclear top sign “Taxi Jeddah,” or “Taxi Riyadh” etc., can cost the driver SR1,000. He added that a similar amount could be imposed on taxi drivers whose vehicles have no front-seat company license information, while SR800 could be imposed in case the backseat company information is not there.

The official pointed out that the PTA has decided to impose a fine of SR500 for not having a first-aid kit or a fire extinguisher, or a hazard triangle. “Driving without these three accessories can expose the driver to a SR1,500 penalty,” he said.

The PTA has said on its website that many companies directing private car drivers via Internet applications to pick up service seekers are not complying with the requirements made by the PTA, such as making sure that the subscribing drivers working with those companies are all Saudi nationals. It added that the PTA would impose as much as SR5,000 on foreign taxi drivers with no license.

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Moreover, the companies which deal with expat drivers will also be fined for violating the authority’s rules of transporting passengers. It also added that the financial punishment is not everything, as services of the violators will be frozen before he is asked to leave the country, as coordinated with the relevant authorities.

Source Credit: Arab News

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