Imprisonable traffic violations in Qatar

Imprisonable traffic violations in Qatar By Mohammad Azher - November 18, 2021
Imprisonable traffic violations in Qatar

Imprisonable traffic violations in Qatar

Due to the rapid growth in the number of cars in the country, road safety has become one of the most important issues for the authorities. To make roads in Qatar safer and decongested the authorities have put in place a very robust traffic law, hundreds of professional categories have been barred from obtaining a license and recently it was announced that every expat regardless of citizenship must take the driving test to obtain a driving license in Qatar. 

For the sake of deterrence and enforcement of traffic regulations, penalties in the form of fines are common but there are some traffic violations that are imprisonable here in Qatar. Today, we bring you a list of such offences:

Number plates:

Article 12 of the Qatari law states, “Each motor vehicle shall carry immediately after its registration and before its operation two number plates issued by the Issuing Authority, one of which shall be fixed to the front of the vehicle and the other to the rear. For a trailer or semi-trailer it is sufficient to fix one number plate to the rear with the same number as the towing vehicle.” Anyone who is found to be driving a vehicle in contravention of this law can be sentenced either to imprisonment for not less than one (1) month and not more than three (3) years or to a fine of not less than ten thousand (10,000) riyals and not more than fifty thousand (50,000) riyals. 

Driver’s license:

Per Article 29 of Law No. 19 of 2007 Regarding the Traffic Law, “No motor vehicle shall be driven on the road unless the driver has obtained a driving license from the Licensing Authority entitling the holder to drive such a vehicle.” There are exemptions to this rule, such as armed forces, police, citizen of GCC countries. Violators of this law can be sentenced either to imprisonment for not less than one (1) month and not more than three (3) years or to a fine of not less than ten thousand (10,000) riyals and not more than fifty thousand (50,000) riyals.

Allowing a person with no driving license to drive: 

The law (Article 38) stipulates:“No owner of a motor vehicle or keeper shall allow a person who has no driving license to drive the vehicle.” A person found to be doing so can be sentenced either to imprisonment for not less than one (1) month and not more than three (3) years or to a fine of not less than ten thousand (10,000) riyals and not more than fifty thousand (50,000) riyals.

Driving in the wrong direction: 

Driving in the opposite direction to the flow of traffic is not permitted by law, Article 45 makes it illegal. The article elaborates on it further as follows:

“Reversing on a public highway shall not be permitted, except in emergency, beyond a short distance not exceeding twenty (20) metres, and after giving the necessary signal and making sure the road is empty. If necessary, the driver may ask someone else for guidance, but may not enter a junction.” If none of these conditions are met and you still drive in the wrong direction, by law you will be liable for imprisonment for not less than one (1) month and not more than three (3) years or to a fine of not less than ten thousand (10,000) riyals and not more than fifty thousand (50,000) riyals.

Illegal racing:

Article 50 of the law states, “The racing of motor vehicles, bicycles or persons on the roads is prohibited except with written permission from the Licensing Authority. The terms determined by this authority must be complied with. This authorization shall not result in any responsibility on the part of the Licensing Authority in respect of any damage to property or injury to persons, nor shall it exempt the person who organized the race or its management from that responsibility.” This makes racing without due authorization on Qatari roads illegal and punishable, people found to be doing so can for imprisoned for not less than one (1) month and not more than three (3) years or a fine of not less than ten thousand (10,000) riyals and not more than fifty thousand (50,000) riyals may be imposed on them.

Most traffic tickets are issued for minor offences – including tickets for speeding and parking violations. Normally these can be settled by paying the fine amount at MOI or Traffic Department.

But there are certain traffic-related offences that can result in more significant fines, loss of driving privileges, or even imprisonment.

Here are the types of violations that cannot be settled by paying fines and needs to be viewed by the concerned court:

1. Driving a vehicle without obtaining a driving license or with a license that is not meant for the class of vehicle.
- Minimum imprisonment of one month ; Maximum imprisonment of 3 years ; AND / OR fine of minimum QR 10,000 and maximum QR 50,000.
- The punishment for repeating the same violation will be a compulsory minimum Imprisonment of one week and maximum 3 years and fine of minimum QR 20,000 and maximum QR 50,000.
- 3 black points on license

2. Giving a vehicle to someone who does not have a valid license to drive the kind of vehicle or to a person without driving license or to a person who does not have any other permit required by the law.
- Minimum imprisonment of one month ; Maximum imprisonment of 3 years ; AND / OR fine of minimum QR 10,000 and maximum QR 50,000.
- The punishment will be double by the minimum level in case of repeating the same violation.
- 2 black points on license

3. Conducting races for men, cars or bicycles on roads without written permission from licensing authority or not complying with rules and regulations assigned by the licensing authority.
- Minimum imprisonment of one month ; Maximum imprisonment of 3 years ; AND / OR fine of minimum QR 10,000 and maximum QR 50,000.
- The punishment will be double by the minimum level in case of repeating the same violation.
- 3 black points on license

4. Carrying out construction or maintenance or destruction or making holes on roads that may obstruct traffic or risk the road users without permission from licensing authority. Or not putting the warning signs, necessary caution boards and not following rules and regulations of licensing authority.
- Minimum imprisonment of one month ; Maximum imprisonment of 3 years ; AND / OR fine of minimum QR 10,000 and maximum QR 50,000.
- The punishment will be double by the minimum level in case of repeating the same violation.
- 3 black points on license

5. Violating customs and norms of public morality inside the vehicle or allowing somebody to do so.
- Minimum imprisonment of one month ; Maximum imprisonment of 3 years ; AND / OR fine of minimum QR 10,000 and maximum QR 50,000.
- The punishment will be double by the minimum level in case of repeating the same violation.
- 3 black points on license

6. Destroying traffic signs or any part of it or shifting it or changing its content or its information or its direction or damaging it or damaging the road.
- Minimum imprisonment of one month ; Maximum imprisonment of 3 years ; AND / OR fine of minimum QR 10,000 and maximum QR 50,000.
- The punishment will be double by the minimum level in case of repeating the same violation.
 
7. Driving a vehicle on the road recklessly or carelessly or in a way that endangers life of people and properties.
- Minimum imprisonment of one month ; Maximum imprisonment of 3 years ; AND / OR fine of minimum QR 10,000 and maximum QR 50,000.
- The punishment will be double by the minimum level in case of repeating the same violation.
- 4 black points on license

8. Driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohols or drugs or any other mental stimulants.
- Minimum imprisonment of one month ; Maximum imprisonment of 3 years ; AND / OR fine of minimum QR 10,000 and maximum QR 50,000.
- The punishment will be double by the minimum level in case of repeating the same violation.
- 6 black points on license

9. Running away or trying to run away in case of any accident or when the police from Ministry of Interior or anybody entrusted to implement the traffic law gives an order to stop.
- Minimum imprisonment of one month ; Maximum imprisonment of 3 years ; AND / OR fine of minimum QR 10,000 and maximum QR 50,000.
- The punishment will be double by the minimum level in case of repeating the same violation.

10. Obtaining or trying to obtain vehicle’s registration card or new driving license during the suspension period of the original vehicle license or driving license.
- Minimum imprisonment of one week ; Maximum imprisonment of one year ; AND / OR fine of minimum QR 3,000 and maximum QR 10,000.

11. If the vehicle’s driver does not give necessary assistance when the accident occurs on the way and injuring a person or more than one or not informing the police immediately or moving the vehicle from the accident site without police’s permission or moving the vehicle without necessity to rescue the accident victims.
- Minimum imprisonment of one week ; Maximum imprisonment of one year ; AND / OR fine of minimum QR 3,000 and maximum QR 10,000.

12. The owner of the vehicle refusing to provide information to police about name and address of the person who was driving the vehicle at the time of violation or providing false information intentionally.
- The punishment will be the same for the driver who violated that law according to article number (67).

13. Providing wrong information intentionally in any forms or applications to pass technical inspection or to earn a license or a temporary one or getting a replacement for the lost one.
- Imprisonment of maximum 10 years. If the forgery was done by a public staff during his duty, he will be punished by imprisonment of 15 years at a maximum level according to penal code article no. (206).
- 3 black points on license

NOTE : To keep updated about any traffic violation you might have made,  check online here.

By Mohammad Azher - November 18, 2021

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