GULF

Unified GCC system to monitor speeding soon

File photo of traffic passing by the Kingdom Tower in Riyadh. (AP)

The Gulf Cooperation Council will soon implement a unified system to monitor speeding on roads in member countries.

“This automatic system will be implemented very soon,” said a senior officer in the Eastern Province Traffic Department.

The new system will be introduced in coordination with the Customs Department in the member countries.

The officer also said women holding international licenses can approach the offices of Traffic Police to obtain a Saudi driving license.

The department will work with the punishment commission to identify reckless drivers and assign them to do community services. “We’ll monitor taxi drivers through the Kulluna Amn system,” the officer said.

According to statistics issued by the Traffic Safety Committee in the province, a person is killed in traffic accidents on the Kingdom’s roads every hour.

This means 25 people die every day and more than 9,000 annually in road accidents across the Kingdom, the committee said in statistics published by Al-Hayat Arabic daily.

Abdullah Al-Rajhi, secretary-general of the committee, said 38,000 people are injured in road accidents annually in the Kingdom. “Road accident victims occupy 30 percent of hospital beds in the country,” he pointed out. 

Huge economic losses 

He estimated the annual economic losses from traffic accidents at more than SR27 billion.

Al-Rajhi made the remarks at a press conference in Alkhobar on Monday while announcing the ideal driver award.

He said the award was instituted to encourage motorists to drive carefully following traffic rules. The department has allocated SR500,000 for the award.

“We’ll study prospects of including ideal women drivers during the fifth award distribution ceremony next year,” Al-Rajhi told reporters. “We’ll make a proposal to the award committee on prospects of including ideal women drivers,” he said.

At present the award could not be applied to women drivers as the award committee decides the winners after verifying the driving record of individuals for three years. “We intend to add new conditions for the next award,” he added.

Al-Rajhi confirmed Saudi Aramco’s plan to establish a driving school for female staff and their relatives. There is cooperation between Aramco and Imam Abdul Rahman Bin Faisal University. The oil giant will provide technical support to the university to establish a driving school for women.

Dr. Abdulhameed Al-Moajjel, chairman of the Saudi Traffic Safety Society, said the award would have different categories for private driving license holders and public driving license holders, in addition to two awards for public and private agencies, and universities and schools. 

Traffic awareness 

He urged all families and employers to register the names of their drivers for the award in order to enhance their traffic awareness. “The award was instrumental in reducing the number of traffic accidents in the region and changing the attitude of drivers,” he added.

Al-Moajjel emphasized the importance of cooperation between various public and private agencies to improve traffic safety. “The award’s fourth edition targeted school drivers as many school and college buses involve in road accidents almost daily,” he explained.

Col. Abdullatif Al-Obaidallah, head of the traffic safety department in the Eastern Province, said Saudi women holding international driving licenses could approach the department to obtain Saudi driving licenses after completing necessary official procedures.

“We intend to open a number of driving schools for women in the Eastern Province to ensure safe driving and reduce accidents,” he told Al-Hayat.

Col. Al-Obaidallah said no specific date had been fixed for launching the GCC system to monitor speed driving.

Referring to the community service programs for reckless drivers, he said they would be asked to visit hospitals where traffic accident victims receive treatment.

“We have increased fines for policemen who violate traffic regulations. This raise applies to all staff members of the Interior Ministry including security officers,” he added.

- The story was first published in Saudi Gazette .

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Last Update: Sunday, 11 February 2018 KSA 16:17 - GMT 13:17
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