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Trucks violating ban worsen Jeddah traffic  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 22/01/2013

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Traffic congestion on the highways of Jeddah city due to the violation of many truck drivers to the peak-hour ban.
(MENAFN - Arab News) Large trucks in Jeddah seemed to have evaded the restrictions of a committee comprised of 10 different governmental departments, formed to enforce the ban on their entry into main roads, especially highways, during peak hours.

Since the early hours of the morning, trucks were seen driving unhindered on the main streets of the city, thereby violating the ban.

Many drivers criticized the committee's performance and said the presence of trucks on the highways during peak hours is dangerous for road users and remains unregulated.

"Nothing has changed. Trucks still enter and exit the city without confirming to a proper system because they face no deterrent penalties that prevent them from repeating the violation," said Rashed, a regular commuter on the Haramin highway. He also added "Another issue threatening the safety of drivers is the large number of trucks, which park on road sides often because they are pulled over by the police. This creates even more traffic congestion because roads barely have the capacity to contain these large vehicles."

Many truck drivers simply take alternative routes, like driving through residential districts, to avoid traffic police and reach the highway without being caught. "They don't fear penalties and they are not pulled over," said Abdulrahman, another driver.

The spokesman for the Jeddah traffic police department Lt. Col. Zaid Aal Hashim said trucks are banned from entering the city during certain hours, such as between 6-9 a.m., 12-3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. There are a number of checkpoints that ensure trucks are not entering the roads during these prohibited hours. Traffic officials and undercover patrols are monitoring roads with high traffic density including the highway and violators who enter through districts or other routes are pulled over penalized.

Aal Hashim attributed the presence of trucks despite the ban, to the fact that there are a large number of entry and exits points to the city of Jeddah.

Elaborating further on the matter, he explained that his department is approaching the mayor's office to provide them with allocated space to place the confiscated trucks that defied the ban.

Saeed Al-Bassami, chairman of the transportation committee in the Jeddah Chamber for Commerce and Industry, expected that Jeddah Municipality may postpone the implementation of the penalty against truck drivers because the municipality has not yet equipped the 12 chosen sites where the impounded trucks will be placed.

"It is hard to apply the decision to impound trucks temporarily without the appropriate space required," he said, adding the transport committee will study the impact of the decision on the transport sector three months after its implementation.

However, a traffic expert expressed the opinion that it is necessary to apply the penalty of impounding violating trucks and called upon the chamber to revoke the memberships of companies, factories and contractors who do not comply with the peak hour ban. Moreover, he urged officials to accelerate the establishment of parking lots for trucks outside the city equipped with the necessary services and operating under the supervision of government officials.

 






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