The Saudi Arabian Police have penalised a woman for driving a car, flouting the ban on female motorists in the country, AFP reported on Tuesday. Although the kingdom issued a royal decree in September that said women will be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, the ban will be in place till June 2018.
A spokesperson said on Monday that authorities had summoned the woman after a video showed her driving a car out of a luxury hotel in Riyadh. “We call on all Saudi citizens to respect the law and wait until the ban on women driving formally ends,” the police spokesperson was quoted as saying.
The woman has not been arrested, but only booked, he said, adding that the car’s owner was also booked for violating traffic rules.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women from driving.
On September 26, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman had issued a royal decree allowing women to drive for the first time in the kingdom. Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United Nations, had said that the decision was both a social and an economic reform. “I think our leadership understands that our society is ready,” he had said.
After the driving ban is lifted, women will not need to get permission from a legal guardian for a licence and will not need a guardian in the car when they drive, the envoy had explained.