SR500 fine for Saudi taxi drivers without uniform

A Saudi woman speaks with a taxi driver to get a ride in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
Updated 19 December 2017
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SR500 fine for Saudi taxi drivers without uniform

JEDDAH: Drivers of cabs, ride-sharing services and even private cars need to consider safety and the readiness of their vehicles before hitting the roads, as the Public Transport Authority (PTA) has started imposing fines on drivers violating its operating regulations.
Speaking to Arab News, PTA inspector Bakr Hawsawi said that the fines being imposed on violating drivers are harsh enough to make motorists stick to the rules and regulations that are made for the safety of both drivers and riders alike.
“We fine cab drivers having no meter installed with SR5,000 ($1,333), while a fine of SR500 will be imposed on drivers for not wearing their uniform,” the inspector said. He said that the same amount should be paid by drivers whose cars look unclean from the outside, or are found dirty on the inside.
Hawsawi noted that the absence or unclear top sign “Taxi Jeddah,” or “Taxi Riyadh” etc., can cost the driver SR1,000. He added that a similar amount could be imposed on taxi drivers whose vehicles have no front-seat company license information, while SR800 could be imposed in case the backseat company information is not there.
The official pointed out that the PTA has decided to impose a fine of SR500 for not having a first-aid kit or a fire extinguisher, or a hazard triangle. “Driving without these three accessories can expose the driver to a SR1,500 penalty,” he said.
The PTA has said on its website that many companies directing private car drivers via Internet applications to pick up service seekers are not complying with the requirements made by the PTA, such as making sure that the subscribing drivers working with those companies are all Saudi nationals. It added that the PTA would impose as much as SR5,000 on foreign taxi drivers with no license. Moreover, the companies which deal with expat drivers will also be fined for violating the authority’s rules of transporting passengers. It also added that the financial punishment is not everything, as services of the violators will be frozen before he is asked to leave the country, as coordinated with the relevant authorities.


Misk Global Forum hears that it’s all about skills

Updated 40 min 39 sec ago
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Misk Global Forum hears that it’s all about skills

  • News has changed drastically, with audiences more digitally connected now getting their news through online platforms such as Twitter
  • The third annual Misk Global Forum, with the theme Skills for Our Tomorrow, is taking place place at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Center on Wednesday and Thursday

RIYADH: As the moderator of the first session, “It’s All About Skills,” at the Misk Global Forum on Wednesday, Arab News’ editor in chief Faisal J Abbas began by holding up the morning’s newspaper: “Two years ago people used to read the news like this,” he said.

But as he pointed out, the news has changed drastically, with audiences more digitally connected now getting their news through online platforms such as Twitter.

With media tweeting out his comments, Abbas began introducing his guests: Ahmed bin Suleiman Al-Rajhi, Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development; Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager of the Misk Global Forum; Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN secretary general’s envoy on youth from Sri Lanka; and Sue Siegel, chief innovation officer for General Electric.

Abbas asked Al-Rajhi how the government was tackling the challenge of finding jobs for youth. “With Vision 2030 programs (that) are happening today, we have a lot of initiatives and there is potential,” the minister said. “We all need to work together and collaborate with the education system, employers that create the jobs and the ministry to give a clear direction of where we are going today.”

Asked whether job creation is considered a worldwide issue, the UN envoy on youth confirmed it’s not just a regional concern. “It is not a national or regional issue but a global one: Our world is younger than it has ever been before. I’d like to look at this as an opportunity to achieve sustainability.”

Wickramanayake said out that by 2030, South Asia and Africa will supply 60 percent of the world’s workforce. “We have a large majority of young people that are working but still live in poverty,” she said, and it’s important to invest in them. “If we are serious then this is the time to make those investments: to be productive citizens and employees and employers.”

One of the groups making those sorts of investments in Saudi Arabia is the Misk Foundation, the forum’s organizer, which was founded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2011. Hamidaddin pointed out that the foundation plays a complementary role, bridging gaps and working with partners to help equip young people with skills.  

Abbas asked the question that’s on everyone’s minds these days: Are machines going to take over our jobs? Siegel said everybody looks at artificial intelligence and thinks it means machines will take over our jobs, but it will actually enable productivity and create new jobs by taking over the more mundane ones. She pointed out that everyone thought computers would take our jobs, but they just augmented what we do.

When asked about the Arab world’s perception that international companies don’t care about the region, Seigel said that just isn’t so. “It’s inaccurate,” she said. “We have been in the Kingdom for over 80 years. Seventy percent of our business is out of the US. We have 4,000 employees here. The success of the country is the success of our company. We are pleased with the progress we have made here. “

When it comes to preparing Saudi youth for the jobs of the future, Al-Rajhi said a governmental committee formed by five ministers is looking at how well education is preparing them for it.

Speaking up from the audience, Saudi Education Minister Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa took the mic: “It’s the easiest thing to criticize the education system, but we can see that all the people here are from education,” he said. “In general, we are reviewing all the education aspects in terms of curriculum or skills that (they) should require. We are also reviewing the specification of the needs of the labor market and education system. “

Al- Rajhi said the skills youth need for the future are definitely changing, stressing the need for problem solving, conversational skills and teamwork.

Abbas asked panelists to describe in one word what skills were needed for the future.

“Agility,” Hamidaddin said.

“The ability to learn,” said Siegel.

Wickramanayake said it’s a holistic approach and that we need to talk about skills development as a package for human beings.

And Al-Rajhi went with innovation. “Try to be always innovative or at least adaptable to innovation - in my opinion this is key to success,” he concluded.

Taking it back to his opening remarks, Abbas wrapped up the session by telling the audience to read about it on arabnews.com, prompting laughter from the audience.

The third annual Misk Global Forum, with the theme Skills for Our Tomorrow, is taking place place at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Center on Wednesday and Thursday.