Saudi police book woman for driving

  • The ban on female driving is set to be lifted next June as per royal decree issued by Saudi King Salman

RIYADH –  A Saudi woman has been penalised after she was caught on camera by violating a ban on female drivers which will be overturned in next June.

Saudi police on Monday booked the woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, for violating traffic regulations after she was filmed driving out of a hotel in the capital Riyadh. However, the police did not mention the nature of penalty.

The police spokesman urged Saudi citizens to obey the rules and avoid breaching the ban on female driving until it ends next year.

The owner of the car has been separately booked for violating the rules, he added.

Royal Decree

On September 26, Saudi King Salman issued a royal decree allowing women to be given driving licences, ending a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the repression of women in the ultraconservative kingdom.

The change, which will take effect in June of next year, was announced on state television and also by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is a Muslim monarchy ruled according to Shariah law. Saudi officials and clerics have provided numerous, and often ridiculous, explanations for the ban over the years.

Rights groups have long campaigned for the ban to be overturned, and some women have been arrested and jailed for defying the prohibition and taking the wheel.