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Tue 22 Apr 2008 05:03 PM

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Dangerous drivers to be flogged

Iran steps out penalties against dangerous drivers to cut number of people killed on country's roads.

Dangerous drivers to be flogged
Traffic in downtown Tehran. Drivers in Iran found guilty of dangerous behaviour on the roads could be sentenced to 74 lashes or several months in jail, Irans traffic police chief has been quoted as saying.(Getty Images)

Drivers in Iran found guilty of dangerous behaviour on the roads could be sentenced to 74 lashes or several months in jail, Iran's traffic police chief was quoted as saying Tuesday.

"Drivers who commit dangerous acts will be referred to court for harming public order and the court can sentence violators to three months to a year in jail or 74 lashes," Mohammad Rouyanian said, cited by the Kayhan newspaper.

"Their vehicles will also be seized for a week," he said, adding that the new measure would come into effect from early May.

Iranian police have until now punished offending drivers with a fine, seizing their drivers' licences or confiscating their cars.

Iran's roads are among the most dangerous in the world and road accidents have killed at least 100,000 over the past five years.

Despite a ban on drinking alcohol, surveillance cameras and police patrols planted alongside the roads, drivers are frequently seen speeding and overtaking on the wrong side of the road.

In recent years Iran has eased restrictions on the import of foreign cars and many of the urban rich use luxury cars or SUVs in the capital's usually congested highways or posh northern resorts on the Caspian coast.

Flogging is allowed under Iran's Islamic Sharia law for crimes including theft and adultery even though in practice it has been used relatively infrequently in the past.

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Allan 12 years ago

I really commend Iran on this step. What about Egypt? Driving in Egypt is just so dangerous and crazy. How do we give a license for just driving forward and reversing through some cones? How does that teach road sense and manners? There is almost no right or correct side of the road, nobody knows any road manners or when to give way. Not to mention the constant hooting – what is that about? The police are totally ineffective in enforcing the law on the road and only seem interested in a quick buck and easy enforcement. Why do we allow so many lives to be senselessly lost by maniacs in killing machines? Would we all be allowed to carry AK-47's to do the same job without restraint?

Danial Beck 12 years ago

I also commend this action from Iran. Although the punishment is considered barbaric and has no place in an "enlightened world society", we are human and will always suffer the human conditions of personal perceptions and gains. I can imagine this measure being a very useful deterrent without it being exercised often (if at all). Reminds me of a time when birching (the collection of long thin branches from a birch tree and tied together to whip someone) was a formal punishment off one of the islands in the UK until 1975. There was no crime and no disorder within that large island community. Let us also not forget that although cars are a mode of transportation and status, they are also potentially killing machines that have the ability of bringing grief and misery to others.

Richard 12 years ago

Could solve the UAE's problems?!