In response to a rising number of complaints about parking obstructions, Qatar’s traffic department has announced that it will crack down on the practice by towing vehicles belonging to motorists who park illegally.
QNA quotes Lt. Col. Mohammed Radhi Al Hajri, Director of Media and Traffic Awareness, as saying:
“Motorists who block the path of other vehicles should realize that people in other vehicles may be facing emergency situations such as medical emergency and others.
Such irresponsible behavior and attitude cause a waste of time and unnecessary delays for fellow motorists.”
Violations that could result in fines and the towing of one’s vehicle include parking behind/beside already parked cars in front of government and non-government buildings, at the gates of large warehouses and the entrances to private homes.
These actions have long been illegal, but not very strongly enforced, as Qatar has an ongoing parking crunch problem.
@dohanews how about creating more parking spaces for people! I mean, we are basically left with no choice but to park wherever it's free.
— Sarah Rabbani (@SarahRabbani) August 24, 2014
QNA states that Article 78 of Law No. 5 of 2010 prohibits motorists from parking their vehicles in unauthorized places, or in a way that may create an obstacle or hindrance for other cars.
Article 81 of the same law gives the traffic department the authority to tow the cars and recover transportation costs and applicable fines from violators.
The fee for parking illegally was not specified, but according to a list of traffic violations posted by MOI, parking-related citations carry a QR300 fine and three points on one’s driving record.
Tow trucks are a rare site on Qatar’s roads, but authorities have recently said they plan to step up their use of them. In June, police threatened to impound the vehicles of motorists who repeatedly illegally pass cars on the right or park in spots reserved for those with disabilities.
A month later, traffic department officials said that some 100 vehicles had been seized daily for illegally overtaking others on the road – which comes out to roughly 3,000 vehicles a month.