Joy riders and spectators, beware! The next time you indulge in this illegal activity, you could land up in jail — five days for first-time joy riders and three days for first-time spectators.
The General Directorate of Traffic believes this decision will act as a deterrent. The punishment and penalties double for repeat offenders, said Col. Ali Abdullah Al-Dibaikhi, director of the Riyadh traffic department.
“The penalty for joy riders starts with imprisonment for five days for first-time offenders with the rider that they have no other traffic violations. The punishment, however, will go up to two months in addition to a fine (for further offenses),” he said.
Al-Dibaikhi said spectators face three days imprisonment, which is doubled for repeat offenders.
He said joy riding incidents fell 90 percent this year in Riyadh, compared to the same period in 2012. The drop in numbers was mainly due to efforts by a special police team tracking joy riders on social media websites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
In addition, the police deployed patrol cars and undercover officers to monitor joy riders and follow them to their homes. The police arrested 30 joy riders and spectators recently.
He said the traffic department would not be lenient toward people who break the law. He said parents could assist the police by keeping an eye on their children.
The move comes in the wake of the directorate announcing earlier that it was getting tough with joy riders, doubling the period of imprisonment, lengthening prison sentences and issuing fines of not less than SR 10,000.
The penalties announced include prison sentences of not less than six months and fines of not less than SR 5,000 for every joy rider causing injury, in addition to a one-year sentence and not less than SR 10,000 fine if death is caused, besides the confiscation of the vehicle and legal proceedings against the offender.