Interior ministry to stop impounding cars

Vehicles found infringing traffic laws have received a respite from being impounded and towed away.

In a turnaround to what has arguably been an inefficient strategy, the Assistant Undersecretary for Operations and Traffic Affairs at the Ministry of Interior Major-General Jamal Al-Sayegh has issued a decision asking traffic officers not to impound ‘vehicles infringing laws’. Until further notice, all vehicles infringing laws on road worthiness, pollution control, illegal parking and other such traffic rule violations will only be issued a citation, said a source at the ministry of interior.

However, the ministry sources indicated that this was a temporary measure aimed at easing traffic congestion due to security checks and until more efficient steps were introduced using digital technology.

Ministry of Interior is understood to be in the process of implementing a new electronic system that will increase the efficiency of issuing citations for traffic violations. The new fining system will include the location of the vehicle infringing the law as well as the action taken against the violation.

Once the vehicles are impounded under the new system, there would be no need to visit police stations or get release papers from the traffic departments. The system would allow traffic violators whose vehicles are impounded to pay their fines and print out the appropriate release papers from the ministry’s online website. The new steps are in line with the framework to make government services more efficient through digitizing processes and procedures in various departments.