New Saudi speed limits to help cut number of road deaths

Updated 08 December 2017
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New Saudi speed limits to help cut number of road deaths

RIYADH: Warning signs and guides to make drivers aware of new speed limits have begun to be installed by the Ministry of Transport in response to a directive from the Ministry of Interior in coordination with the General Directorate of Traffic and Road Security.
The move is expected to cut the number of deaths due to road accidents, which totalled 1,864 from January to October this year. The Ministry of Transport aims to reduce the number of fatalities by 25 percent by 2020.
Turki Al-Taaimi, director general of marketing and corporate communication at the ministry, said the new signs and guides will direct drivers to the new speed limits, which have been set at 140 km per hour for small vehicles, local media quoted him as saying.
He said that, as part of the program to raise the level of road safety, the ministry is undertaking a number of projects that contribute to speed reduction, such as vibration bumps on the sides of highways.
He said the signs will raise awareness of speed limits for vehicles including sedans, buses and trucks on certain roads after making sure they are suitable for such regulations.
The ministry will start to implement the new safety measures on some main roads during the first quarter of 2018. These include the Riyadh-Dammam, Riyadh-Taif and Riyadh-Qassim roads.
Car accidents in Saudi Arabia killed 9,031 people last year, 12 percent of the total number of fatalities in the Kingdom, with an average of over 25 deaths a day — or more than one every hour. The rate of increase is at its highest since 2007.
Between 2006 and 2016, 78,487 people died from car accidents, again constituting 12 percent of deaths in the Kingdom in the same period.
 


US welcomes Saudi Arabia's Khashoggi investigation as 'step in the right direction'

Updated 16 November 2018
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US welcomes Saudi Arabia's Khashoggi investigation as 'step in the right direction'

  • State department says steps must continue to be taken toward full accountability
  • Arab and Western countries welcomed the steps taken in the investigation

JEDDAH: The United States welcomed the details of Saudi Arabia’s investigation into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi as a “good first step” on Thursday.

The comments came as a host of countries responded positively to a briefing from the Kingdom’s public prosecution that said it had identified 21 suspects in the killing of the Saudi journalist at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month.

The prosecution on Thursday called for five people to receive the death penalty as it revealed the details of the investigation so far.

“We regard the announcement that they made as a good first step, it's a step in the right direction,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

“It is an initial investigation finding. It is important that those steps continue to be taken toward full accountability.”

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READ MORE:

Full text: Saudi Arabia public prosecution briefing on the Jamal Khashoggi murder investigation

Saudi Arabia FM: Khashoggi murder investigations will continue until all questions are answered

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor seeks death penalty for 5 Khashoggi suspects

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Both Arab and Western countries welcomed the steps taken by the investigation outlined in the briefing.

The Arab League expressed support for the measures taken by the Kingdom.

“The measures are seen as reflecting the great interest of the Kingdom to reach those responsible for committing the murder and take the firm and decisive action against them,” the League’s  Secretariat General said.

The statement also urged Turkey to reciprocate the Kingdom’s approach by providing the evidence in the case and meet Saudi demands to form a joint mechanism for cooperation on the investigation.

The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani said the details of the investigation released on Thursday “confirm the Kingdom’s commitment to completing the necessary procedures in order to continue the investigation away from the politicization sought by some malicious parties.”

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) praised the statement from the Public Prosecution.

“The Saudi prosecution has clearly answered the outstanding questions, charged the responsible parties, identified the roles of those involved in this crime and announced all that with transparency,” OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen said.

Countries in the region were also quick to back the progress made in the case.

The UAE welcomed the findings and the measures taken to hold accountable those behind the murder.

“The measures taken corroborate the fact that Saudi Arabia will remain a state of values, and justice that respects the principles of law and justice,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said.

Egypt also praised Saudi measures and called on countries to avoid politicizing the case.

The progress in the investigation “highlighted the seriousness of the Kingdom and its transparency in clarifying the truth,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said.

The Jordanian government stressed the importance of the public prosecution's announcement to charge a number of detainees in the case.

"This announcement is an important step towards achieving justice through the investigations' results," Amman said.

Other governments to issue statements welcoming the Kingdom’s steps included Djibouti and Palestine.

Meanwhile, France's foreign ministry said the investigation was a “step in the right direction.”