Egypt's cabinet drafts first major reforms to traffic laws in 44 years

Ahram Online , Wednesday 18 Oct 2017

The new law would impose a penalty point system which will see repeat violators lose their licences

Attaba market in central Cairo , Egypt March 9, 2017 Reuters

Egypt's Transport Minister Hisham Arafat announced on Wednesday that the cabinet has approved a draft traffic law and referred it to the State Council for legal revision, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

Arafat said at a press conference at the cabinet building that the new bill would replace the current traffic law, which was issued in 1973.

"There have been many changes from 1973 to 2017; we needed a new law," he said.

The country's population tripled in this period from 37 million in 1973 to 104 million in 2017.

Meanwhile, the number of vehicles licensed in Egypt through the end of 2016 reached 9.4 million.

Arafat added that the new law takes into consideration the high number of traffic accidents in the country.

According to a recent statistics released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), the number of road accidents in 2016 was 14,710, an increase of 1.1 percent compared with the figure of 14,548 for 2015.

A total of 5,343 people were killed and 18,646 others injured as a result of traffic accidents in 2016, while 21,089 vehicles were destroyed.

However, Arafat denied certain reports that Egypt topped the global figures for numbers of accidents.

"These estimations are untrue, but what is true is that Egypt is in the middle of the top countries in terms of road accident rates internationally; and this is also unacceptable," he said.

One of the new features in the draft law will be an electronic ticketing system for traffic violations, and a penalty point system which will see repeat violators lose their licences.

At present, minor traffic violations are generally punished through fines only.

The new law also prohibits vehicles manufactured more than five years ago from obtaining public transport licences. Those vehicles that already hold licences and are under 20 years old may continue to renew their licences, while those over 20 will not be able to do so.

The law also criminalises the erection of unauthorised speed bumps.

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