JEDDAH: Marwa Haddad
Published — Sunday 11 November 2012
Last update 11 November 2012 3:19 pm
The movement of trucks on highways is still an issue that concerns many road users. Trucks frequently block streets, cause traffic jams and have proved to be life-threatening following the recent truck explosion incident in Riyadh that claimed the lives of 22 people.
Adel Zamzami, civil defense spokesman, said that his department’s job is limited to checking the safety of trucks transporting hazardous and flammable material. He further elaborated that it is important for truck drivers to take all necessary precautions to ensure road safety.
He told Arab News “the civil defense is responsible for checking safety procedures when trucks are filled with hazardous material and during the unloading procedure.”
“Drivers are not allowed to drive heavy-duty vehicles unless they attend specialized courses at Saudi Aramco, the company that produces the petrochemicals and gases,” Zamzami said.
Zamzami stressed the importance of the traffic police procedures in regulating the set time for trucks entering ring roads. He also said that 70% of road accidents are caused by truck drivers’ lack of knowledge of road safety rules.
Saeed Al-Bassami, head of the transportation committee in the Jeddah Chamber for Commerce and Industry, said the accident in Riyadh was anticipated as his committee cautioned numerously about the need for truck drivers to be more aware of the road safety measures, especially truck drivers carrying hazardous materials.
They must be trained on how to deal with road issues and traffic jams, Al-Bassami said.
“The traffic police instructions for truck drivers not to enter highways and ring-roads, except during designated, has been applied in Riyadh a few months ago, however it has not been observed in other cities,” he added.
He called on the civil defense to be more vigilant in regulating this issue and to coordinate with concerned authorities, to protect trucks carrying dangerous material.
Zaid Al-Hamzi, Jeddah traffic police, stressed the importance of driving trucks on highways during designated periods of time. These trucks must be protected until they arrive to their destinations and unload. He also told Arab News that allocating a special road for trucks is not on the table right now.