Riyadh records half-a-million traffic offenses in 2 months

Updated 14 January 2014
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Riyadh records half-a-million traffic offenses in 2 months

Some 505,173 traffic violations were recorded in Riyadh in the past two months, local media reported quoting monthly data released by the Riyadh Traffic Department.
The traffic offenses included inter-city over-speeding (72,483 cases), unauthorized turns (11,104), driving without license (19,588), absence of car registration documents (26,149), traffic reversing (11,757), breaking traffic signals (38,066), unidentifiable registration plates (33,093), and erroneous overtaking (17,503).
Other violations recorded included, not fastening safety belts (71,000), irregular parking (45,398), drifting (136), window tinting (37,045), unauthorized transport of passengers (4,997), and use of mobile phones while driving (28,305), the report stated.
Meanwhile, Col. Ali Al-Dibaikhi, director of Riyadh Traffic Police, has directed all the field and secret traffic squads to register offenses related to fastening safety belts and use of mobile phones while driving.
In a related development, the Eastern Province Traffic Department recorded 19,000 offenses and 35 drifting cases in the first week of mid-term exams in the province, according to Col. Ali Al-Zahrani, spokesman for the Traffic Police Department.
He said the traffic violators were released on bail and will be referred to the concerned penal courts as soon as exams are over.
Violations of the week-long campaigns varied between breaking traffic signals, not fastening the safety belt, using mobile phones, and erroneous parking, Al-Zahrani pointed out.


Saudi films soar at Golden Falcon film awards

Updated 19 April 2018
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Saudi films soar at Golden Falcon film awards

  • Winners of first Golden Falcon award will travel to the Netherlands to study filmmaking techniques
  • Film screenings have been revived in KSA as part of wide-ranging social and economic reforms encouraged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman 

RIYADH: Saudi films have won awards at an international film festival organized by the Netherlands to coincide with the return of cinema to the Kingdom.

The first Golden Falcon Film Festival awards drew Saudi actors, filmmakers and cinema-lovers to the Netherlands embassy in Riyadh on Wednesday.

More than 30 shortlisted Saudi films were shown at the maiden festival on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Nine films were nominated, with three each in the best film, best script and best director categories. Overall winners were chosen by an international jury headed by Dutch filmmaker Hans Treffers.

Best movie award went to “Mazban.” The other two films nominated in the category were “Tongue” and “Building 20.”

“The Poetess,” “Matour” and “Atoor” were nominated in the best director category with “Atoor” bagging the award.

“Departures,” “Atoor” and “The Remaining” were nominated in the best script category with “Departures” winning the award.

Besides the Golden Falcon trophy, the winners will travel to the Netherlands to study filmmaking techniques.

Joost Reintjes, the Netherlands ambassador in Riyadh, told Arab News: “We are proud to organize the first Golden Falcon Film Festival here to promote filmmaking in the Kingdom and provide a platform for young Saudi filmmakers to show what they have to offer.”

Film screenings — banned in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s following religious changes in the Kingdom — have been revived as part of wide-ranging social and economic reforms encouraged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

The return of cinema was heralded with a film screening on Wednesday at a newly built theater at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh. 

Commenting on the lifting of the 35-year ban, Reintjes told Arab News: “That’s Vision 2030 — it is good sign to diversify and develop.

“Although the cinemas in the Kingdom have only been restarted now, Saudi filmmaking has already made a name for itself on the world stage.

“The Saudi film industry will grow very fast. The level of talent is high,” he said.

Mohammed Al-Qass, lead actor from “Departure,” said: “We have been working for this day for years. 

“Saudis with a thirst for cinema were traveling outside the country — now they can enjoy and share the experience in their homeland.” 

Mohammed Khawajah, a Saudi filmmaker and adviser for the film festival, told Arab News: “The idea for this festival came last year when the lifting of the cinema ban was being discussed.

“The Netherlands embassy had this idea about nine months ago; we sat together and planned the whole festival, which was carried out successfully, with hundreds of people enjoying Saudi films.

“We will improve with our next festival, which will have more fun and entertainment,” he said.