Point system to stem traffic violations

Updated 29 April 2014
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Point system to stem traffic violations

A plan to use a point system which will replace the current fine system for reducing traffic violations is under study, an informed source at the Riyadh Traffic Department told Arab News.
“The traffic department is seriously thinking of implementing the point system plan against drivers,” the source said adding: “The new point system will help reduce traffic violations by more than 90 percent nationwide.”
He explained that the present system based on imposing fines on violators was not very effective in reducing traffic violations.
Traffic safety experts believe that the point system will be a powerful deterrent for reckless drivers. “Careless drivers simply pay the fines and then revert to violating the system as before,” they said.
They pointed out that a sound traffic strategy should have four components: Discipline, notification, reporting, and punishment.
Recently, Al-Ghamidi, Omar Al Mufadda, and Col. Khalid Al Qahtani said that the penalty component needs more detailed treatment, because in addition to its physical and financial dimensions (by which they mean imprisonment and paying fines), there is the moral dimension, which is no less important.
“A driver who does not care about how much money he pays in the form of fines will be more mindful of traffic rules if he is under threat of suspension of his license,” they said.
“Even if he pays the fine, the decision to suspend his license remains in effect. In addition, the suspension will cause the driver to run into difficulties with the insurance companies, as they will be asking for a premium to insure reckless drivers,” they said.
They also recommended the establishment of a Speed Department in each city in the Kingdom, which will operate on the major intercity highways. “The unit will be instrumental in combating speed, the leading cause of traffic accidents in the Kingdom,” they said.
The Kingdom’s roads suffer more than 1,500 traffic accidents with more than 30 fatalities daily. Over 40,000 people are injured annually with more than 80 percent of the cases incurring motor function impairments.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most accident-prone countries in the world with the number of fatalities exceeding 8,000 people every year.


Meet Saudi Arabia’s artist to the kings

Saudi painter Hisham Binjabi’s stunning creations have become the choice of kings. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 2 min 4 sec ago
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Meet Saudi Arabia’s artist to the kings

  • From the age of three, Hisham Binjabi has never lost his appetite for art

JEDDAH: When it comes to royal connections, Saudi painter Hisham Binjabi can truly claim to have made it an
art form.

During a lifetime at the easel, the unassuming Jeddah-based artist’s stunning creations have become the choice of kings.

And it all began at the age of just 14, when Binjabi painted a portrait of King Faisal and ended up presenting it in person to the late king of Saudi Arabia.

Further commissions were to follow, which resulted in Binjabi producing works of art not only for the Saudi royal family, but royalty in other countries too.

Today he owns two galleries in Jeddah from where he exhibits artwork and sculptures from around the world. 

Binjabi revealed his incredible story to Arab News while at work painting on canvas at a recent Jeddah book fair.

Hisham Binjabi made works of art not only for the Saudi royal family, but royalty in other countries too. (Photos/Supplied)

From the age of three, when he painted the walls of his family home in black, Binjabi has never lost his appetite for art. His talent was recognized at school where he was known as the “boy who paints,” and although he chose to major in science, a teacher spotted his artistic skills and taught him the basics of mixing colors.

Binjabi said: “After that I started to practice, and whenever I didn’t need to attend a class, I would escape to the painting room. As I became stronger with the use of colors, my teacher suggested I pick a subject to paint and I chose to do a portrait of King Faisal.”

After framing his picture, Binjabi was spotted carrying his creation down the street by the then-minister of education, who was so taken by it that he invited the teenager to present it to King Faisal himself. 

On the right track

The young artist continued to paint in his home and later studied English literature at King Abdul Aziz University, where again his talents were spotted. 

The dean of the university asked him to produce a painting to display in a tent, and this time the subject was to be camels.

During a visit to the campus, the then-King Khaled saw the painting and asked to meet the artist. “Before I knew it, I was standing in front of King Khaled,” said Binjabi. 

“The king asked me why I had painted camels, and I told him that camels were the friends of Bedouin people.”

The king invited Binjabi to go to Riyadh and attend the first ever Janadriyah Festival, and from then on his works became highly prized by royalty. The then-Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz asked him to produce a painting of his guests, a French prince and Sheikh Zayed of the UAE, watching camels through binoculars. 

As a result, Binjabi was invited to stay at Sheikh Zayed’s palace in Abu Dhabi, where he spent four months painting a family portrait for the leader.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was to be another of Binjabi’s distinguished clients, and even while studying for a Master’s degree in Lebanon, he painted for the king of Lebanon.

He said: “It did get overwhelming. I never asked to be associated with royalty, it just happened. Something in my heart kept pushing me along and telling me I was on the right track.”

Today he still represents the Kingdom in many different countries. 

“My life is full of stories about art which I find inspirational,” Binjabi added.