December 22, 2008


I am, as of Saturday, the proud owner of my very first Lebanese speeding ticket ever!
Here is a 50 km limit, I will allow 20 over the limit, but you went 75,” said the policeman in question.
I do not doubt it; it is a very nice stretch of road (albeit only 700 meters long) without any obstructions, turns or traffic, and it’s been recently resurfaced. I like this ‘I will allow 20 over the limit’. Perfectly Lebanese. Even when there is a clear rule, we will still fidget with it.
The paperwork was then handed over to a gentleman of the Darak, the Internal Security Forces, who – while apologizing profusely – wrote me a 50,000 pounds ticket. I didn’t argue, yet he kept saying "sorry, eh?”

I figured that the paying of the ticket – which had to be done somewhere else where you also had to retrieve your driver’s license (yes, they take that away) – would result in a nice blog spot about absolute absurdity and chaos, but no such luck. I came in, paid, got my license (which had been confiscated only 25 minutes earlier, yet had made its way to the station already), and left.
Without a hitch. What a pity.


Kheireddine said...

LOL, you got busted on Ramlet El-Baida. In 1975, my father (and I) test drove a Porsche, we were able to reach 140 on the middle lane and we were not pulled over!

Sietske said...

Yep, Ramlet el-Baida it is! These days it's all one lane, although three lanes wide. But I have to hand it to them; they were polite AND professional.

Marillionlb said...

I guess you got lucky, the ticket I got cost me a day in going from one place to another in order to get my license back. I did offer to pay it on the spot but was unable, and found out that I had to personaly go to retrieve my license.

Ms. Tee said...

Well, mabrouk! There is Zaid Baroud to thank for some of the improvements.

As for giving a leeway over the speed limit, that is the standard in many places. In Norway (can't get any more "civilized" than that!) the unspoken rule was 5, but recently they increased it to 20 in order to focus on more dangerous driving... such as 50 over the limit.

Nora C. said...

My dad also received a ticket last summer in Lebanon. Whereas he would have argued a speeding ticket in the US, he gladly accepted it in Lebanon--cops doing their jobs and enforcing the law? Thank god!