Traffic Fines

Hello, i would just like to ask if anyone has the same experience of passing through a red stop light. My friend had an accident once but manage to settle. But it happened again accidentally pass through the line while the red light is on. Will she go to jail? Please anyone has the same experience can answer? Thank u so much.

Hi Aminah0502,

Yes, I do know a thing or two about this subject.

First, you must note that jumping the red light at a traffic signal is considered a very serious violation of the traffic rules. It could not only endanger the driver’s life, but also could result in some nasty and avoidable accidents. That is exactly why the Royal Oman Police (ROP) does not take too kindly to the offenders.

This is what happens when you jump a red light :

For the offence to get updated / uploaded on to the ROP website could take a long time. Sometimes weeks. Sometimes months. Sometimes many more months. So logging in daily to check if your offence has been recorded would be a very frustrating affair. If all else fails, the violating would be brought to light when the vehicle goes for its annual registration renewal definitely. This is for private vehicles. For company owned vehicles, when there is a fleet of say 10 vehicles, if any one of them breaks the law none of the other company vehicle’s registration would get renewed until and unless the required penalties are paid and cleared in full.

Once intimated of the mistake, the driver has to go to the ROP Licensing Office in Seeb and meet with the Police Officer there. Then the offender would be show the recorded video evidence of the misdemeanor. Then depending on the complexity and seriousness of the offence and based on the Officer’s discretion, the fine / punishment would be levied. For example, if the vehicle crosses the signal after about 30-seconds of changing to red, then it is considered to be more serious offence than if the vehicle were to cross the signal after 3 seconds of changing to red.  In addition, the time of the incident would make a big difference. More on that later in this response.

As you may be aware, recently the fine for jumping a red light (and all traffic violations) have been increased ten-fold to make the roads of Oman safer. I quote here : “Jumping a red light is among the most severe of traffic violations, where the offending driver risks a jail sentence of up to a year and a fine of up to OMR500, or one of these punishments,” Major Zaid bin Mohammed Al Hosni, Head of the Violations Administration at the General Directorate of Traffic at the ROP, said in the statement.

For smaller signal jumping offences, a cash fine would be levied. For more serious violations, the vehicle would be impounded and would be parked in the ‘quarantine’ / ‘cool-off’ area at the ROP yard. The duration could vary anywhere between a few days to a few weeks, and sometimes even a few months. Or, imprisonment of the driver who committed the mistake. And it does not end there. The ROP would give all the offenders a form, printed only in Arabic, which the driver has to sign. This is for the first time violators. The form essentially says that if the driver ever repeats the same mistake of jumping red signal, then he / she can be hauled to jail without any further ado !

Now coming to my story, I jumped a red light once quite recently. It was as early as 05:30 in the morning. The roads were empty. And the previous 2 signals were blinking amber. So without realising that the third signal was functional, I drove by at a very nominal / slow speed. Only when the flash zapped did I realise that the signal was on ! But by then it was too late.

Fortunately, my mistake was ‘pardoned’ (I guess !!) given the fact that it was rather early in the day (and it was still dark), and the roads were empty without any other vehicle around, plus the previous 2 signals were not working yet (which I am not sure if the ROP would have known).

Unfortunately, my colleague who too jumped a red light elsewhere in Muscat around the same time I did, was not ‘pardoned’. His vehicle was impounded for a period of 4-days. And he paid a cash fine as well.

Dear Mr. Sumitran,

I'm so grateful for your response. Thank you so much for the very helpful insight, we had the same experience you had as well, it was 1:00am in the morning and he was driving slow in a pedestrian lane with stoplight, we were just suprised that the camera clicked in and the red light was on. It was a quick incident. Just like your experience, he didn't meant to cross the red light.  Alright, yes he violated the law, we won't deny that, but people quickly judge that he's a disgusting person that could hurt people in the future.
I'm saying this because  I posted the same enquiry to a facebook page but everyone was like judging negatively saying he should suck up what happened and people violating the law shouldn't give the right to drive, they are harmful and so on, I wasn't saying that what my friend did was right, but We were just hoping to get some insights to others who have the same experience and ofcourse to get ready for what the things would happen. But the people on that page was mean I'm so sorry to say that :(
I do believe that not all expats here would actually purposely disobey or not follow traffic rules, We are also not gaining sympathy of what worse could happen, but just atleast people could tell what could be the situation.
I say not all bec sometimes incidents could happen and just like your experience it just happen so quick beyond control. We also don't wish to harm anyone.
Thank you so much for sharing. With all the things and insights that you have mentioned, atleast it helps us out to get the idea of what will happen and to accept the charges and learnt from it.

Thank you again. And all the best.

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