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.
 


Putin welcomes Saudi delegation at St. Petersburg cultural forum

Updated 18 November 2018
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Putin welcomes Saudi delegation at St. Petersburg cultural forum

JEDDAH: Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly welcomed Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the 7th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum as one of the main guest countries attending the annual event.
The delegation was headed by Saudi Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, who posted a selfie with Putin on his Twitter account.
“We responded to the invitation from our friends in Russia to participate in the St. Petersburg cultural forum, and it was an opportunity to meet with officials to promote cultural cooperation,” the post said.


The forum, which ran from Nov. 15-17, was held under the theme “Culture as a Strategic Potential of the Country,” was attended by visitors from 101 countries.
Opening the forum, the Russian president expressed hope that the event would develop fruitful dialogue between society and the state.
Putin said the forum gives others a chance to get to know Russia more closely, stressed that “what distinguishes his country is the diversity of languages and traditions.”
During the visit the Saudi minister held talks with the Russian president on the sidelines of the event.
He also met his Italian counterpart, Alberto Bonisoli, on the sidelines of the forum to discuss areas of joint cooperation between the two countries and means of enhancing Saudi-Italian cultural relations.
“I was delighted to meet with the Italian Minister of Culture and we have many opportunities for a future of strong cooperation between the two countries,” Prince Badr tweeted.

Bonisoli said that culture is “a means of communication” for politics, even when serious international crises occur.
“If there are problems between two or more countries, according to their positions, culture is still a way to convey the messages of partnerships, communities, politicians, and sometimes to promote fundamental values,” he added.
The St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum annually attracts thousands of experts in the field of culture from all over the world.
Stars of theater, opera and ballet, renowned directors and musicians, public figures, representatives of and academic communities, all attend the event.
The year’s program includes 14 pavilions, including museums, circuses, theaters, cinema, literature, tourism, folklore and popular culture.