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Interior Ministry stresses women’s right to drive without obstacles

JEDDAH: Women have the right to drive without facing any obstacles, and traffic regulations will be applied to both genders, said Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki.
Female residents and citizens who want to familiarize themselves with traffic regulations can do so by reading the Traffic Law, he added.
The speed limit might increase on some roads to 140 km per hour, so “it is crucial to follow speed signs,” he said.
The director general of the traffic department, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Bassami, said the amount that people are fined for violations is being reconsidered.
A new strategy will be ready in a few months that will include developing the performance of traffic personnel and relying on technology, he added.
The traffic department is also developing a list of driving schools and monitoring them, as well as new regulations promoting public safety, Al-Bassami said.
Mobile radar will be used to monitor violating cars, drivers using their phones and those not wearing seatbelts, he added.
A traffic-violation points system will be applied in the Kingdom, as will a system of withdrawing driving licenses.
According to a royal decree, women will be allowed to drive as of June 24, 2018, Al-Bassami said.
“We are holding meetings to organize and prepare driving schools to receive female trainees,” he added.
Maj. Gen. Bassam Al-Attiyah of the Interior Ministry said there is an accident every minute, a death every 20 minutes and four injuries per hour, and 70 percent of accidents occur outside cities.
A royal decree was issued in September allowing women to drive in the Kingdom. It ordered the formation of a ministerial body to give advice on the practicalities of the edict within 30 days and to ensure the full implementation of the order by June 2018.
The prohibition of driving is considered a social issue in the Kingdom, as there is no actual law or religious edict that prohibits it.

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