Saher Traffice System

Since the introduction of an automated traffic monitoring system – otherwise known as Saher – in Saudi Arabia, many drivers have been caught and issued tickets.  The Saher traffic system uses digital cameras to monitor the roads of major cities in Saudi Arabia.  Now, most drivers in Saudi Arabia are foreigners, paid a meager salary to drive Saudi families around, or perform tasks such as getting groceries.  When a traffic violation is detected by the Saher traffic system, it sends an SMS text message to the owner of the vehicle.  Now, the question is – who should pay the fine?

Drivers See Salaries Deducted for Fines

On the positive side, some Saudi families coughed up the money to pay the fines on behalf of their drivers. However, some drivers are not so fortunate.  Their employers deduct the fines from their paltry salaries. The drivers are also reminded to respect the speed limits and look out for speed cameras.  Driver Ghulam Alam told the media that Saudi employers often rushed their drivers to complete their tasks quickly.  Ghulam Alam said: “They sometimes order me to run through a traffic light because the sponsor’s wife is late for shopping or an appointment. Then we are to blame when there is a traffic violation. I refuse to deduct the amount from my already very low salary if there is a traffic violation because of my sponsor’s wife.”

I Will Pay the Fine for My Driver

It is also not a good solution to tell the driver to pay his own fine.  Saudi employers have also recounted the fines they paid on behalf of their driver, for fear that the driver will run away and work elsewhere, if he was told to pay his fine.  Muhammad Al-Amoudi, who employed a driver, said: “I was very angry with the driver because he committed the same violation on the same road. When I told him that he needed to pay the $320 fine, he ran away, leaving me with the fines and no driver.  I now have to pay more than $1,300 to acquire a visa and bring another driver. In the meantime, I’m paying $480 a month for a temporary illegal driver.”

Saudi Families Should Also Take Blame

Abdullah Al-Harbi, who employs a driver for his household, said: “Part of the blame in my opinion is with the family. They are responsible because they instruct drivers to do things fast. Drivers are often ordered to quickly take a person here or there, or quickly bring a person from the airport, or quickly buy some food. If they’re late, then they’re told off. If they get a speeding ticket, then they’re penalized again. In my case, I’ve paid over $700 in fines and will never allow my driver to pay the fines because he has a family to feed back home.”

Think About It

Isn’t it right for an offender to pay for his own offence?  However, if a driver cannot afford to pay the fine, should the employer step in to pay it on his behalf?  If so, how many times should an employer pay for his driver?

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