Even though we know that the using of mobile phones and other devices while driving has become a prevalent threat to the road safety of every pedestrian and driver alike, most of us do not remember his or tend to ignore this while attending to important calls. Even worse is when you are following a WhatsApp group conversation from behind the wheel.Now however the use of mobile phones while driving has now become subject to punishment by law. Yes, you read it correct the usage of mobile phones has been added to the already mile long list of traffic violations, however it is for our own benefit. Anybody who has become a repeat offender will be taken into custody and would be referred over to the Commission for Violations and Disputes over at the Traffic Department where he will face jail time, monetary fine or even both in some cases.
While you are on the road it is truly amazing and bewildering (and not in the good sense) when you see a car veering from one side of the road to the other at dangerous speeds of 100 kilometers per hour. The majority of the times it is because of a phone call or the sending of SMS that these incidents occur on the roads.In a recent study the death tolls in traffic accidents and as a result of war were both compared. The conclusion came that the entire number of deaths due to war in Argentina, Asian Sub Continent, Western Sahara and the Gulf region combined were around 82,000. Keeping this figure in mind, the death toll from various traffic accidents in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the past 20 years alone was a staggering 86,000 people and an additional 600,000 injured in a record breaking sum of 4 million traffic accidents.
Hence it is amusing or rather confusing or amusing that many people on social media and also media personnel raised their voice against the strict measures put in place to ensure that the traffic rules and regulations are being abided by. These types of people view the traffic fine as an added form of taxation and do not realize that each year hundreds are left dead while roughly the same amount are left crippled or injured. Statistics which were released by the Traffic Department show that the total number of deaths due to the usage of cell phones while driving is more than 8000.
What hurts more than this is the fact that the rate of death and injury due to road accidents is increasing every year despite all the strict measures which were put in place. A study by Saudi Aramco indicated that in accordance with the current growth rate the annual death toll caused by road accidents will reach 9604 by the year 2019.The traffic department aims to not only reduce the number of deaths but to firstly stop the growth rate of this death toll. This however cannot be achieved by even stricter traffic laws.
Source: Saudi Gazette
Other Issues related to Driving in KSA
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- Old Vehicle Registration Plates are no more valid in Saudi Arabia
- Why do drivers in Saudi Arabia honk their horns unnecessarily?
- Importance of Wearing Seat Belt while Driving