Oman proposes ban on wearing of niqab veils for women drivers

RIYADH (AP) - A Saudi online newspaper says Oman is proposing that women be banned from wearing face veils when driving.

Al-Watan said on Tuesday that Oman made the proposal at a meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council police traffic department heads.

It singled out the niqab, a mask that covers a woman's face, leaving only a slit for her eyes.

The Oman delegate said that wearing a niqab while driving should be a traffic violation, indicating that the garment restricts vision and represents a hazard.

The traffic police chiefs met in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia to discuss the unification of traffic laws. They are referring proposals back to their governments.

In Saudi Arabia itself, such a regulation would have no immediate effect - though almost all Saudi women wear a niqab, women are forbidden to drive there.

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