I was on my way to Beirut a week ago when a policeman stood in the middle of the road (next to the Canadian Embassy in Jal el Dib) and started asking few drivers to park on the side including myself. At first I thought they were checking “mecanique” papers and indeed the officer asked me for my driving license and “mecanique” papers which I gladly handed over. I still had no clue I was being fined for using my phone because I don’t recall taking any calls or texting anyone that morning. A few minutes later, I got bored from waiting so I asked the officer if I can go if my papers are good and that’s where he told me I’m getting a fine for using my phone. I told him but I wasn’t using my phone as far as I know but he was like “Yes you were there’s an officer standing on the side of the road a few hundred meters back who spotted you”. I was like “Spotting me doing what?” but all he said was that I was using the phone.
I was in a rush so I didn’t bother argue anymore and took the fine and drove away but I’m still not sure what “using my phone” meant to this officer and how random these fines are. In fact, ever since I got the fine I haven’t seen any officer standing on that road and I’ve spotted tens if not hundreds of drivers texting and answering their phones on the same road. I even wanted to go and file a complaint but to say what? I am sure I wasn’t using my phone to text or answer yet I could have been holding it to check the time (I don’t wear a watch and my car’s clock doesn’t work) or listen to music (plugged to the radio with an auxiliary cable) but again I didn’t have proof and neither the officer who fined me did. I ended up paying the fine but I wish the ISF would clarify what “using our phone” means and why they are still fining people randomly and during peak traffic hours?
What’s the point of fining drivers stuck in morning traffic for using their phones? How does that help promote road safety? How about those speeding on the highway while texting and driving? Can we take calls if we have a handset or on speaker? What if I’m holding my phone down and have the speaker mode on? Is that also a fine?
More importantly, why aren’t there regular checkpoints to fine drivers breaking the new traffic law? I spot hundreds of drivers breaking the law on a daily basis on the highway and main roads. This is where the real threat is, not on the Dbayyeh Jal el Dib maritime (jammed) road at 8:30am.
All in all, I gladly paid the fine because I may have been holding my phone but it’s quite frustrating to pay a 200,000 fine while everyone around you is clearly breaking the law (including police officers) and getting away with it, and while you’ve been promoting road safety for years on the blog.
If you told them who you were they wouldn’t have fined you… 😉
PS a friend of mine got fined for speed while she was abroad and noone using her car… 3ade wlo….
Be proud you are lebanese :p
mbere7 la7a2t ekher 5 min mn kalam l nas . Marcel ghanem stated clearly (ma3 to3sib w sammet badan 😛 )
” 2anoun l ser la 2art mosriyet l 3alam msh la 7imeyetoun”
i couldnt agree more. the intentions of the ones who were working on it might be good will … but everyone is taking advantage of it
Geez, so much for double standards! But then again, would you expect anything else? Welcome to Lebanon 🙂
-it is true that :” 2anoun l ser la 2art mosriyet l 3alam msh la 7imeyetoun”
-the new law was uncalled for (the old one was ok it just needed to be applied, and giving fines occasionally and not vigorously implementing regulations is 1 step forward and 10 steps back
-Tol3et be rassak ya Mr Najib, allah ysabrak…
-It takes a millisecond to cause an accident… you were looking at your phone not on the road,
next time instead of whining about something getting done own up to your mistakes for your and our sake stop looking at your phone when driving!
– the take away from this is not that you shouldn’t have been fined, everyone like you on the road should be fined .
As I’ve stated, I don’t recall looking at my phone but in case I was for any reason, I’ll gladly pay the fine. When u look at your watch wouldn’t that cause an accident as well? How is that different from looking at the watch at ur phone?
Everyone should be fined but the process should be clear and credible, not just an officer spotting people randomly on the road.
Buy a watch and glue it in front of you 😀
I got 2 new fines for speeding , one in 2011 and another in 2012 ( I saw them on the gov website ). I didn’t have that car back then and before I bought it I checked and there were no previous unpaid fines.
They fine you without constitution or legality to collect money.
I got fined a month ago for not wearing the seat belt, while i was!!! we were at down town beirut, while i was sitting next to my husband, wearing the seat belt! my husband waved to a Darake that was standing next to souk beirut, coz he knew the guy and old neighbor. seconds later, he asked us to pull over, my husband thought that the guy was just kidding, he followed us with his motorcycle and asked us to pull over again, when my husband asked whats wrong, he said she is not wearing a seat belt, my husband looked at me and tells him she i,s can’t u see!! he started yelling and threatened to get us restrained if i don’t give him my ID and car papers. eventually we did!! the next day, we went to Makhfar tayone, Saryt Beirut and explained the issue to the 3amid, as soon as we mentioned the darke name, it seems he was famous for doing such tickets, the 3amid called him shouted at him, and then canceled the fine.
bs. the 3amid cannot cancel the fine. especially the new one! even if come with bassbouss in person, the new fines are not cancelled. the only way to cancel it Is to go to court . get you story straight because you are spreading unfounded rumors and lies !
that said, yes the new law is a excuse for collecting more money from the citizens, where he old one could have been simply tweaked with new fines and applied more consistently. the state governments are not ready , and will not be ready anytime to apply fully such and sophisticated law. for instance, getting busted talking on the phone, should have cost points for the first time; next time you get busted , you shall lose more points and a fine. same to the seat belt and other minor infractions. speeding in 30 – 40 zones will cost you up to your driving license. unfortunately , this will happen, since speeding radars are mostly on highways not small roads.
It’s silly to be fined for driving with one hand. You gotta use the other one to give cops the middle finger.
Let the machines spot illegal activities. Machines do not have feelings and are not biased.
Ana kamen heik sar ma3e exactly and when i told him why you pulled me away i wasnt talking on the phone he told me that your phone was visible in your hand and mamnu3 ykun mar2i .hayde 3a salim sleim and since then wala mara chefet hada thr hazz mafi 😉
kepp your phone in a bag and dont touch it while driving ,ull never get fined
So eno elet knt 7emil el telefon lkn 3a sho z3len enu 3etuk fine? Lw ma kent 7emlo kinna ilna
Yeah, tell me about it, i was once leaving publicity and when l left the parking the officer jumped infront of the car, okay i wasn’t wearing the seat, but you know i was just about to put it, the officer was on the exit of the parking waiting for people leaving the place to fine them. When i pulled over, and he was at my window asking for my papers, i received a text message on my phone. He then said, “ra7 a3mellak zabet, na22e ya 7izem ya telephone”. I was like damn man i haven’t used my phone, he was like “mbala lek waynou wosollak message”. Are they serious? This is stealing. This is not acceptable.