19 die daily in KSA road accidents

Updated 22 September 2013

19 die daily in KSA road accidents

With the highest rate of road accidents and fatalities in the region, the Kingdom has among the world’s most dangerous roads.
Statistics from the General Directorate of Traffic show that the Kingdom has 23 deaths per 100,000 people, with on average 19.1 road fatalities occurring daily.
“It is really a matter of lack of discipline, and no doubt better enforcement of speed limits and traffic laws would help,” says Glenn N. Havinoviski, associate vice president and transportation systems director of Middle East Operations, Iteris Inc.
“When you see people turning left out of the far right lane and traffic cutting through parking lots and frontage roads, there are clearly some issues with discipline, but there is also the issue of enforcement. Live police enforcement, as opposed to just cameras, is helpful.”
Havinoviski says that there needs to be an effort to really manage safety rather than just lumping safety and security together with technology. He adds that whether it is stricter driving schools or regular testing for drivers when they renew their licenses, there really needs to be a culture of safety introduced in the Kingdom.
“The infrastructure to me is not the problem but I see in urban areas that lane markings and the operation of traffic signals could be improved,” said Havinoviski. “Without clear lane markings, roads can be haphazard to travel on. People driving off-road to avoid congestion, which I've seen in Jeddah, is another example of bad behavior.”
The rate of traffic accidents per individual in the Kingdom is much higher than in developed countries. Experts predict that if the current rate of traffic accidents continue, the Kingdom may have four million traffic accidents a year by 2030. This means that a person will die on Saudi roads every hour in 2014 if the country’s accident rate continues at its current pace. There are approximately 7,100 road fatalities every year and 38,000 seriously injured individuals, of whom 7 percent are permanently disabled.
Recently, the Council of Ministers approved the National Strategic Plan for Traffic Safety that has a key objective of framing a national traffic safety policy specifying broad future traffic plans and measures to cut road accidents.
According to a study conducted by Hany Hassan, assistant professor of transportation engineering at King Saud University, there were 600,000 crashes recorded in the Kingdom in 2012, resulting in the death of around 7,638 people.


Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 22 min 19 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

  • “I was transported into a completely different world”: Jay Kay

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”