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More Arab traffic offences abroad

More Arab traffic offences abroad

A UK council wants to name and shame drivers of foreign-registered vehicles that have unpaid parking fines. And guess where the owners of the flashiest cars come from?

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August 15, 2010 1:34 by



Lee Rowley, Westminster Council’s cabinet member for parking, said: “British taxpayers can no longer foot the bill for foreign motorists who seem think the rules of this country do not apply to them. We would like to see a more rigorous system put in place to hold these drivers to account and send a clear message that this blatant disregard of the law will not be tolerated.”

According to the Daily Telegraph, Officials say the problem is most pronounced among vehicles registered in the Middle East, which are frequently seen parked on yellow lines, in bus lanes or in residents’ parking bays in expensive parts of the capital. The paper says that many wealthy Arabs have their sports cars flown into Britain by private jet during the so-called “season” in July and August, when it has become fashionable to visit London.

In one area the problems, which are not just limited to parking offences, have apparently worsened since the Qatari royal family bought Harrods department store in May. Residents of the Knightsbridge area saying Middle Eastern visitors are making residential roads “like the starting grid of Le Mans.”

Kipp is sure (or do we just hope we’re sure?) that these offences – both reckless driving and breaking parking laws – are perpetrated by a minority of selfish, arrogant individuals. But their actions reflect badly on all Arabs. Government in the UAE and beyond should co-operate to help British authorities track down offenders to make it clear they are never above the law.

All of a sudden, we are having some sympathy with the British guidance for how to treat foreign visitors. “Arabs are not used to being told what they can’t do.” Is it a fairer generalization than we thought?



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