One dead and eight injured every two hours on Saudi roads
Traffic fatalities are on the rise here, prompting the government to announce it would get tough with reckless drivers and improver driver education programs nationwide.
The Saudi cabinet called for the establishment of a "new strategy" to fight
traffic fatalities. Some 35,037 persons have been killed and 284,869
seriously injured in traffic accidents the last ten years, the Interior Ministry announced.
In its announcement, the ministry noted that the statistics meant that one
person was killed and 8 injured every two hours on Saudi roads.
In addition, the death and injury, as well as physical damage, cost the
national economy more than US$2 billion, according to the ministry.
The cabinet, which discussed ways to handle the situation at its most recent
session, suggested enacting tougher penalties against traffic offenders,
including banning repeat offenders from the road for life. Currently, the
penalty for a driver who causes injury and death on the road is normally
worked out between the driver and the family of the victim. The Cabinet
said that this should be reconsidered, and that "reconciliation," even in
the form of payment to the victim, was not always enough.
The interior ministry is to launch a media campaign aimed at increasing the
public's awareness of the importance of driving safely, as well as giving tips on how to drive more safely. Otherwise, however, no concrete plans were adopted at the cabinet meeting, and the subject was left for further discussion. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)