Rolling death: Traffic accidents kill more Saudis than anything else

Published January 26th, 2016 - 08:16 GMT

“The lack of respect for traffic regulations by citizens as well as residents is one of the main reasons behind accidents." (Twitter)
“The lack of respect for traffic regulations by citizens as well as residents is one of the main reasons behind accidents." (Twitter)

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has failed to meet the challenge of traffic accidents that remain the leading cause of deaths in the country, Public Security Director Othman Al-Mihrij has said.

“The traffic problem in the Kingdom has become a huge challenge, and the major responsibility for it lies with the public security system, as represented by the General Directorate of Traffic,” he said.

Speaking during a recent meeting with the managers of traffic departments of all regions of the Kingdom in Riyadh, Al-Mihrij said that expansion of cities, urban development and the increasing number of cars are the reasons behind the problem.

Violation of traffic rules is due to a poor community culture which could be corrected through the cooperation of all authorities concerned, including the Ministry of Transport, municipalities, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, he said.

Al-Mihrij said that the traffic directorate regularly monitors the performance of traffic departments to identify shortcomings that need to be addressed. “The traffic file is unsatisfactory due to the high rate of accidents. This requires the cooperation of all stakeholders in the public and private sectors, as well as members of the public.”

The meeting, he said, was convened to discuss a wide range of traffic issues, including traffic rules, high rate of accidents, general traffic safety and the activation of the role of traffic departments in solving recurring problems.

Another key topic discussed at the meeting was the government’s evaluation mechanism for traffic performance and improvement.
Al-Mihrij said that the Ministry of Interior seeks to soon roll out an advanced traffic safety system, “Saher,” across the Kingdom, which will increase the number of road security cameras in towns and villages by 100 percent.

“The lack of respect for traffic regulations by citizens as well as residents is one of the main reasons behind accidents, especially youngsters who form the majority as far as reckless driving is concerned.”

The General Directorate of Traffic is working on a technical program to enable citizens to document traffic violations and accidents by taking pictures and videos and sending them to the operating room electronically, Al-Mihrij added.


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