Camels on Eastern Province roads pose danger to motorists

Updated 23 February 2015

Camels on Eastern Province roads pose danger to motorists

Camels have become a major concern for highway drivers in the Eastern Province due to the growing number of injuries and deaths from camel-related traffic accidents annually.
Residents in the area are calling for urgent and immediate intervention from the Ministry of Transport to find solutions to reduce traffic risks caused by camels roaming and crossing major roads.
A recent report issued by the Department of Public Relations and Media and King Fahd Hospital in Hofuf indicates that the hospital receives about 40 fatal cases per month resulting from highway accidents, with the number increasing substantially during holiday, Haj and Umrah seasons.
“The continuously alarming number of accidents caused annually by camels roaming on major roadways indicates that no effective solutions have yet been undertaken to cope with this frightening issue,” said Ahmed bin Hamad Albuali, vice president of the municipal council in Al-Ahsa. “Authorities tend to intervene on a periodic basis and fail to present any sustainable and long-term solutions.”
He urged authorities to consider a study presented by Mohammed Al-Zahrani from King Faisal University, which suggests the development and use of GPS technology to identify threats and risks.
The use of this technology, which emits a warning sound to drivers when they are near camels on the roadways, was tested and proven to be successful. The GPS devices can also provide information to authorities about the location of these camels via SMS in order for them to deal with the issue, he added.
“Efforts must be undertaken to complete Al-Oqair Highway so that traffic gets equal space in both directions, removal of roadside sand during the summer period, and installation of road lights between Al-Ahsa and Qatar and Riyadh,” he said. “Camel owners should also be used to place reflective and luminous belts on camels to signal their location to drivers.”
Al-Zahrani’s study also recommends the development of mobile devices that improve communication between police departments and the General Directorate of Traffic in areas with high incidences of camel-related accidents.
Meanwhile, a number of citizens in the Eastern Province demanded from authorities to find solutions to counter the threat of roaming camels.
“Although these roads cannot be avoided as they connect the region with all others regions in the Kingdom and neighboring Gulf countries, there is still much work to be done to improve the quality of these roads and address traffic threats,” said Abdul Latif Al-Rabie, a citizen.
Another citizen, Talal Al-Thowab, said: “We do not know how long this fear and concern about the danger of these roads will last, especially as the lost lives of many innocent people could have been avoided. These roads lack many basic safety and security measures such as lighting.”
Citizens also called on the Ministry of Transport to study means of installing an iron fence and crossings along the major roads as preventative and protective measures.

185 disabled Saudi children ready for new academic year

Updated 22 August 2019

185 disabled Saudi children ready for new academic year

RIYADH:  Saudi Arabia’s Disabled Children’s Association (DCA) finished its preparations for the new academic year with the completion of its educational programs aimed at developing children’s mental, cognitive and motor skills.

The DCA’s centers are getting ready to welcome around 185 new students, who will be enrolled in the preparatory and elementary stages. The association is also housing early intervention children in 11 centers throughout the Kingdom.

“The DCA’s centers finished their preparations early in line with the directives of Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, chairman of the association’s board of directors,” said Awadh Al-Ghamdi, the DCA’s secretary-general.

He added: “The association is keeping pace with new technologies by developing the educational care system every year. It continuously adopts new methods for children with special needs by providing the centers with what is necessary for the development of linguistic, social and psychological skills.

“The DCA held consultative meetings to approve an implementation mechanism by consulting experts from the educational committee at King Saud University about the importance of establishing an innovative resources room in all of the DCA centers.

Al-Ghamdi said: “The project will be implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education after it is judged by specialists from Saudi universities and adopted as part of the association’s initiatives. This comes as a continuation of the DCA’s role in caring for children with special needs for more than 35 years.”

The director of the DCA’s center in Al-Rass governorate presented the project’s original idea, which included reviewing the centers’ educational care programs according to modern educational trends.

A working group, which included a number of specialists, was assigned to the investigation. It presented a final vision to the DCA’s secretariat with a guide to the project’s implementation.