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.
 


Zamzam that transformed Makkah’s arid landscape

The old rails and bucket of the Zamzam well preserved in a museum.
Updated 21 min 6 sec ago
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Zamzam that transformed Makkah’s arid landscape

  • Zamzam is stationed throughout the holy mosques, including cold and hot water dispensing containers
  • Every week water samples are collected from the Zamzam well and various dispensers

JEDDAH: The use of holy water is seen in many religions and ethnicities. Christians and Sikhs often use their versions of holy water to bring luck to the household or protect it against evil.
Muslims, too, have their own very special holy water called “Zamzam.” This is found in a 30-meter-deep well in the basement of the Holy Mosque about 20 meters east of the Kaaba. The water is believed to possess healing qualities and is treated with respect by all Muslims.
The well originated when Hagar, the mother of Ismail, son of Prophet Abraham, desperately searched for water in the lonely dunes of Makkah, under the scorching son. She ran between the two hillocks of Safa and Marwa before the infant Ismail scraped the earth, and from his feet burst out a flow of water.
The name originates from “Zome zome,” which means “Stop flowing,” a phrase Hagar used repeatedly to stop the water.
The scraping of Ismail’s feet not only produced the water, it also restored life on the land of Makkah. As Zamzam was discovered, many wells were dug around the area, but most of them either became dry or were buried under the sand because of tribal wars.
One of the most recognized wells around the Kaaba was the Al-Ajoul well Qusai bin Kilab in the pre-Islamic era. When the prophet came to Makkah he performed the purification ritual with the water from this well.
Zamzam today
Zamzam is stationed throughout the holy mosques, including cold and hot water dispensing containers and fountains for the visitors. A bottling plant and public distribution center has also been established right outside the mosque for those who wish to carry it home.
Zamzam well, except for a few periods when it became dry or buried in sand, has been in use for about 400 years. The Zamzam well pumps 11-19 liters of water every second.
The Saudi Geological Survey has set up a Zamzam studies and research center which is responsible for keeping the water clean and suitable for consumption.
Electric pumps are used to draw water from the well. Every week water samples are collected from the Zamzam well and various dispensers. In addition, Zamzam water is filtered through a series of sand filters and cartridge filters and then sterilized by ultraviolet radiation at these treatment plants.