Arrests as Taxi Drivers Clash with Police over New Traffic Law

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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.

Y.R.

Comments 8
Missing helicopter 24 April 2015, 02:03

Biggest offenders of traffic rules are objecting. They want to be able to speed,weave, swerve, and stop in the middle of a road as they please. Disrespect of any Laws like some Politicians we all know.

Thumb _mowaten_ 24 April 2015, 14:22

taxis are not the biggest offenders, far from it! biggest offenders are politicians and diplomats with their endless convoys of bodyguards driving like all hell broke loose and bullying everyone on the road. near seconds are the police members, burning every stoplight and taking every wrong way to get their taouks on time

Thumb geha 24 April 2015, 06:16

it is about time we have good traffic laws.
too many people are dying each year from irresponsible drivers.

Default-user-icon Gerges09876 (Guest) 24 April 2015, 06:32

How can you have safe drivers on the street when the infrastructure does not allow you to drive safely because of a million violations of building structures etc.

The whole country has violated laws....implementing a few laws is not going to make a difference. The whole country needs to be changed with its filthy politicians.

Thumb whyaskwhy 24 April 2015, 15:13

the law is for all those who want to brake it should be willing to accept the consequences. Police, officials as well as normal citizens are all under the subject of the law period.

Thumb BritishLebanese 25 April 2015, 01:24

Excellent News! Yearly death rates will go down!
Mothers & Fathers, Grandfathers & Grandmothers, Daughters & Sons will be saved by the implementation of desperately needed Good Laws for our beloved Lebanon.

With a cheer to the Govt & Police for making it work! Credit when its due gentlemen. Toodle Pip!

Default-user-icon marko (Guest) 25 April 2015, 03:14

Again Naharnet... What is the new law?

Default-user-icon bananasplit (Guest) 26 April 2015, 23:53

What is wrong with you people? You complain if the state does something or if it doesn't do something. Its a traffic law- that's all. Why the fuss? And yes, politicians and diplomats will most likely still flaunt the law, just like they flaunt all laws. Stop complaining and wear your seatbelt!