Phone 'distractions' blamed for road deaths

Updated 16 May 2013

Phone 'distractions' blamed for road deaths

Twenty percent of all road fatalities occur when motorists use their mobile phones while driving, according to the Traffic Safety Committee.
Eighty-four percent of vehicle accidents are caused by driver behavior, says the special traffic study.
It stresses on three main types of distracted driving.
Visual — taking the eyes off the road; manual — taking one or both hands off the steering wheel; and cognitive — taking the mind off what one’s doing.
Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it involves all three types of distractions.
The Ministry of Interior website states that the traffic violations of using cellphone while driving can lead to a fine not less SR 150 and two black points as per the Kingdom’s traffic laws.
Several motorists, especially teenagers, admit to using their mobile phones while behind the wheel.
Apart from just texting and answering calls, some motorists use their mobile phones while driving to browse the Net and use social networking sites.
“Although charging a fine for using mobile phones while driving is implemented in the Kingdom, there is no strict enforcement,” says Zubair Ahmed, a motorist.
“I have seen incidents where young motorists are distracted by the use of mobile phones while driving. They meet with accidents and cause damage to other cars and drivers around them.”
Ahmed adds that he is starting an awareness campaign to encourage and make people aware of the importance of safe driving.
A recent study conducted by Cohen Children’s Medical Hospital in New York found that texting while driving is the number one cause of death among teenagers who drive.
Last year, road safety experts rated Saudi roads as among the world’s most dangerous with an average of 19 road fatalities occurring everyday.

Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

Updated 25 April 2018

Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

  • The Privatization Program is one of 12 key elements of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
  • The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs on Tuesday approved the Privatization Program that is one of 12 key elements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals, attracting the latest technologies and innovations, and supporting economic development.

It encourages both local and foreign investment in order to enhance the role of the private sector, with government entities adopting a regulatory and supervisory role. The aim is to increase the private sector’s contribution to GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030. 

The program will aim to reach its objectives through encouraging the private sector to invest in establishing new schools, universities and health centers, while the government pursues its organizational and supervisory role in health and education.

The privatization program aims to benefit from previous success stories, with the private sector’s collaboration in the development of infrastructure, and its involvement on a large scale in sectors such as energy, water, transport, telecommunications, petrochemicals and finance.

The program sets out a series of objectives in three areas: Developing a general legal framework for policies related to privatization; establishing organizational foundations and dedicated institutions to execute the policies; and setting a timescale for their delivery. 

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.