Arrests as Taxi Drivers Clash with Police over New Traffic Lawإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Security forces arrested a number of taxi drivers Thursday evening after they blocked the road at Sidon's al-Nejmeh Square in protest at the new traffic law.
“Several taxi drivers set tires ablaze at al-Nejmeh Square in central Sidon to protest the new traffic law,” state-run National News Agency reported.
Security forces later dispersed the protesters and arrested many of them, NNA added.
MTV said more than 10 drivers were detained and others were being “pursued” after they “clashed” with police.
The controversial new traffic law took effect on Wednesday despite concerns over the high and unprecedented fines against violations.
Internal Security Forces chief Ibrahim Basbous sought to appease fears by stressing that the law is aimed “ending the tragedies on the roads and ensuring the safety of the people.”
Also on Wednesday, Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq hoped citizens will respect the law “out of their faith in the state.”
“It was adopted to save their lives, not raise taxes,” he remarked.
The contentious law, which angered Lebanese citizens due to the high fines, is set to target major traffic offenses.
It was adopted by the parliament in 2012.
NGOs had hoped that the implementation of the new law would reduce the soaring traffic accidents across the country.
According to YASA, more than 840 people are killed in road accidents every year and more than ten thousand are injured.