Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Parliament rejects the new traffic law

There has been a lot of grumbling about this law, and it is not surprising that the parliament decided to reject it out of hand. The discussions on the issue in the parliament centered on the constitutionality of how it was passed, the level of fines, giving policemen a cut of the fines, and the definition of what a “driver” is (it classified sheepherders as drivers).

Anyway, the legislation is now in the senate, where they may either uphold the rejection, modify the law, ratify the legislation (in which case it has to be sent back to the lower house) or shelve the issue, in which case the law will stay in force as a temporary law. Some legislators worried that this is what the senate might do. When the lower house rejected the income tax law almost two years ago, it looked like the senate wanted to keep the law enforced by not taking up the issue. Pressure from the press and the people forced them to eventually reject the legislation. Abdlkarim Kabariti, who spearheaded the rejection in the senate, was rewarded by not being re appointed in the current makeup.

This time it looks like the senate will have to deal with this issue promptly. In an extraordinary move, the head of the PSD (police) has issued orders not to enforce the law until the parliament ratifies it. So, the law is on the books but the police are refusing to enforce it.

Anyway, there is a whole suite of problems related to the traffic situation in the country. These include poor pedestrian behavior (on whom there is no legal burden to take care of him/her self), lax enforcement of existing legislation, forgiving social attitudes towards reckless drivers and bad roads. Any serious attempt to improve the traffic situation should take all of these factors into account. Poor driving should not turn into just another cash cow for the government.


At 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe it! You linked to my blog! What an honor :)

Can't it at least be a cash 'sheep'?

I still think it is a good first step. As far as pedestrians, how about paint ball guns for citizen law enforcement?

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever rejected this law are bad drivers with no respect of the law and they all see themselves as potential irresponsible drivers. Anyone who does not break the law in driving should not worry about the value of the fine. If I was a Minister of Interior I would resign in case this law was not approved. Drivers in Jordan are potential criminals and should be treated this way.

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what do you expect from a parliament that was not elected by the Jordanian people but was imposed by the regime and shares its Darwinist view of the world.

At 3:47 PM, Blogger Tallouza said...

As much as I hate to agree with Saleh Gallab, he does have a point in today's op-ed in Al-Rai

And the point is not to hang violators, but to impose reasonable penalties befitting the committed offenses.

Civilized and developed countires are not so because the genes of their citizens are different from those coming from less developed ones. They are so because the law stands supreme and the rule of law is what governs.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Batir: Maybe you will change your mind when some idiot darts if front of your car under a pedestrian bridge, not giving a chance to respond. I am sure the minister of interior will be all sympathetic.

Anon: I am sure that 90% of people were happy that the parliament rejected this law.

Talouza: Invoking how Saddam dealt with traffic violators is kind of stupid, don't you think?


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