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Article Egypt: Cabinet Approves Amendment to Traffic Law

(Nov. 17, 2017) On October 19, 2017, the Egyptian Cabinet approved a new amendment to the Traffic Law, Law No. 66 of 1973.  (Law No. 66 of 1973, 34 AL-JARIDAH AL-RASSMIYAH (Aug. 23, 1973) (in Arabic).) The amendment introduces new penalties for violators of traffic regulations.  According to an official written statement issued by the Cabinet, the amendment aims to enhance traffic safety and reduce the number of road accidents in the country.  (Cabinet Statement No. 93 (Oct. 19, 2017), Cabinet website (in Arabic).)  After the Cabinet approved it, the amendment was referred to the Parliament for further discussion.  (Abdu al Rahman Sayid, An Overview of the New Draft Traffic Law, PARLMANY.COM (Oct. 28, 2017) (in Arabic).)

Points System

The amendment establishes a new system to penalize drivers who commit traffic violations.  Under the new penalty system, a certain number of points are allotted to drivers.  Every time a driver violates a traffic regulation, he/she will lose points.  Loss of all the points will result in suspension of the driver’s license for a given period of time.  In order for the driver to re-obtain the license, he or she must enroll in a driving school.  (Egypt Approves First Major Draft Traffic Law in 40 Years, EGYPT STREETS (Oct. 19, 2017).)

The new penalty system provides for the deduction of the following numbers of points, from the total of 50 points granted each driver, for various driving offenses, including:

  1. the deduction of one point for not maintaining a safe distance between the driver’s car and the car in front;
  2. deduction of three points for holding an expired driving license, exceeding a 30 km/h speed limit, parking the car on the roadside at night, or deliberately parking a trailer or a public transport vehicle in a populated area;
  3. temporary suspension of the driver’s license and the deduction of four points for exceeding a 50 km/h speed limit, teaching driving courses on the road without permission, or refusing to show one’s driver’s license to a police officer upon request; and
  4. suspension of the driver’s license and the deduction of five points for driving in the wrong direction or under the influence, or for violating public morals by committing an act of public indecency while driving.  (Mona Ahamed, The Egyptian Government Passes Points-Based Traffic Law for Safer Roads, EGYPT TODAY (Oct. 22, 2017).)

Other Changes

In addition to the newly created points system, the amendment increases fines for traffic violations.  For instance, if a driver violates the law by driving above the speed limit, he/she will receive a fine of up to 500 Egyptian pounds (about US$28) in addition to losing from two to five points.  (Government Passes New Traffic Law, EGYPT TODAY (Oct 18, 2017).)

The amendment also introduces a ban on transport vehicles manufactured more than five years ago and on passenger vehicles manufactured more than 20 years ago.  (Egypt’s Cabinet Drafts First Major Reforms to Traffic Laws in 44 Years, AHRAM ONLINE (Oct. 18, 2017).)

Finally, the amendment requires individuals to take a drug test in order to obtain a driver’s license.  If the driver fails the test, she/he will be permanently barred from obtaining a driver’s license.  (Government Passes New Traffic Law, supra.)

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