19 die daily in KSA road accidents

Updated 22 September 2013
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19 die daily in KSA road accidents

With the highest rate of road accidents and fatalities in the region, the Kingdom has among the world’s most dangerous roads.
Statistics from the General Directorate of Traffic show that the Kingdom has 23 deaths per 100,000 people, with on average 19.1 road fatalities occurring daily.
“It is really a matter of lack of discipline, and no doubt better enforcement of speed limits and traffic laws would help,” says Glenn N. Havinoviski, associate vice president and transportation systems director of Middle East Operations, Iteris Inc.
“When you see people turning left out of the far right lane and traffic cutting through parking lots and frontage roads, there are clearly some issues with discipline, but there is also the issue of enforcement. Live police enforcement, as opposed to just cameras, is helpful.”
Havinoviski says that there needs to be an effort to really manage safety rather than just lumping safety and security together with technology. He adds that whether it is stricter driving schools or regular testing for drivers when they renew their licenses, there really needs to be a culture of safety introduced in the Kingdom.
“The infrastructure to me is not the problem but I see in urban areas that lane markings and the operation of traffic signals could be improved,” said Havinoviski. “Without clear lane markings, roads can be haphazard to travel on. People driving off-road to avoid congestion, which I've seen in Jeddah, is another example of bad behavior.”
The rate of traffic accidents per individual in the Kingdom is much higher than in developed countries. Experts predict that if the current rate of traffic accidents continue, the Kingdom may have four million traffic accidents a year by 2030. This means that a person will die on Saudi roads every hour in 2014 if the country’s accident rate continues at its current pace. There are approximately 7,100 road fatalities every year and 38,000 seriously injured individuals, of whom 7 percent are permanently disabled.
Recently, the Council of Ministers approved the National Strategic Plan for Traffic Safety that has a key objective of framing a national traffic safety policy specifying broad future traffic plans and measures to cut road accidents.
According to a study conducted by Hany Hassan, assistant professor of transportation engineering at King Saud University, there were 600,000 crashes recorded in the Kingdom in 2012, resulting in the death of around 7,638 people.


Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.