Somaliland: 22 Motorists Jailed and Fined For Driving Without Licenses

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The Hargeisa District Court, on Monday, handed out prison sentences and fines to 22 motorists who had been caught driving without permits and in flagrant violation of other road-related or safety laws.

Judge Abdirashid Mohamed Hersi ‘Beergeel’, presiding, sent the 22 errant drivers to jail for six months compounding their sentences with a fine of SlShs 3 million ($300) to each as first-time offenders. If those arraigned at the court, yesterday, repeat the felony and are caught at it again, they will receive stiffer sentences, they were told.

Although none of them were among the sentenced lot, the judge, nonetheless, pointed out that there were foreign nationals driving in cities without proper licenses and/or on forged permits.

“There are foreign nationals driving in town without the necessary documentation or on outdated and/forged documents. That is unacceptable. All are equal in the eyes of the law. Human life is more sacrosanct than any other consideration,” Judge Beergeel said.

“We ask the traffic police”, he said “not to let motorists who are not properly licensed to put the lives of pedestrians and other motorists at risk”.

Yesterday’s sentencing sends a strong message to both reckless and underage drivers who, of late, seem to have taken over Somaliland roads at all hours, driving at breakneck speeds on congested streets and causing incalculable loss in life and property.

 

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