SR5,000 fine for public decorum violators from Saturday


By Ibrahim Alawi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The executive regulations of the law to preserve public decorum and combat its abuse will come into force from Saturday, May 25.

Under the provisions of the law, fines up to SR5,000 will be slapped on the violators of the law and the penalty will be doubled in the event of repeat violation within one year after committing the first one. Those penalized can appeal to the specialized administrative court, according to the bylaw.

There are 10 articles in the bylaw, which emphasizes good manners and ethics reflecting the values of society and stresses the need to avoid bad behavior in public. These provisions will be applicable to all those who frequent public places where everyone needs to respect the values, customs, traditions and culture prevailing in the Kingdom.

The Minister of Interior, in coordination with the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and other relevant authorities, shall depute the administrative control bodies concerned with implementation of the provisions of the bylaw and the appropriate mechanisms for imposing penalties.

The minister can authorize the licensed private companies for security guards to execute any provisions of the bylaw. The bylaw also stipulates that the Interior Ministry, in conjunction with SCTH and other relevant bodies, shall classify the violations and determine the corresponding financial penalties according to a schedule prepared for this purpose.

According to the regulations, it is not permissible to appear in a public place in an improper dress or wearing a costume or dress that bears pictures, forms, signs or expressions that offend public decorum.

The violation also includes writing or drawing anything that is illegal on walls of public places or means of transport without getting permission from the concerned authorities. It is also not permissible to use any word or engage in any act that tends to harm those who visit public places, or intimidate or endanger them.

The bylaw has defined the public decorum as a set of behaviors and ethics that reflect the values of the society and its principles and identity in accordance with the fundamental principles mentioned in the Kingdom’s Basic Law of Governance.

It also defines public places as those sites that are accessible for the public free of charge or in exchange for payment such as markets, commercial complexes, hotels, restaurants, cafes, museums, theaters, cinemas, stadiums, theaters, medical and educational facilities, exhibitions, parks, gardens, clubs, roads, walkaways, beaches, and various means of transport.