Traffic police warn women about unauthorized driving instructors

A Saudi woman driving in the coastal city of Jeddah. The ban on female motorists will be lifted in June. (AFP)
Updated 11 October 2017

Traffic police warn women about unauthorized driving instructors

The spokesman of the General Department of Traffic, Col. Tareq Al-Rbean, warned Saudi women to be aware of some people who may exploit them under the guise of teaching them how drive or advertising female driving instructors.

Al-Rbean stressed in a phone call on Monday with the Rotana “Hala” TV show that “women should not be in a hurry to learn how to drive through unauthorized offices. Authorized offices will be announced soon.”

Col. Al Rben had revealed that many unauthorized offices were recently training women how to drive, including offices in the Eastern Province, and warned that these offices would be penalized and exposed to the media, according to Sabq electronic newspaper. He further noted that establishing authorized driving schools for women would not take more than a month once the ministerial committee finalizes the necessary regulations.

Furthermore, he said that tests for drivers’ licenses for women would consist of two stages: Theoretical and practical.

Al-Rbean stressed that the traffic department would not hesitate to penalize any person or company without the proper authorization to train women on driving.

Saudi firefighters douse Al-Azizah forest fire, no injuries reported

Updated 9 min 49 sec ago

Saudi firefighters douse Al-Azizah forest fire, no injuries reported

  • A number of Ethiopian nationals had been arrested on suspicion of setting the forest on fire following a dispute, says Interior Ministry

RIYADH/ABHA: Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defense has put out a fire in the Al-Azizah Mountains in Alsouda Heights near Abha, the administrative capital of Asir Region.

According to Civil Defense’s Twitter account, the firefighters controlled the fire and prevented it from spreading despite the rugged terrain in which the fire broke out. 

Lt. Col. Mohammad Al-Hammadi, Civil Defense spokesman, told Arab News that firefighters made great efforts to reach the area where the blaze had spread using state-of-the-art equipment to contain the fire.

“No one was injured, thanks to the swift action of the firefighters who helped protect the vegetation of this area. The firefighters are working now to cool down the area and combing down the area to ensure the fire has been controlled and contained,” he said.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture in Asir said that the Al-Maghda water plant was put at the discretion of firefighters to help them fight the fire, according to Abdullah Al-Wimni, the director of the ministry’s branch in Asir, and Muhammad Al-Haidan the director of the Department of Water Services in Asir. Both said in a statement that 20 water tankers were used by the Civil Defense firefighters.

The Ministry of Interior spokesman said an investigation into last week’s fire in the Ghulamah Mountains in Tanuma governorate, north of Asir, indicated that three border violators caused the blaze, which destroyed an area of more than 4.7 million square meters before it was brought under control by the Saudi Civil Defense team.

According to an Interior Ministry spokesman on Wednesday, the suspects were Ethiopian nationals who set fire to the area following a dispute and fled. They have since been arrested and referred to the authorities for legal action.

Tens of thousands of perennial trees — including wild olives, neems, junipers and acacias — some of which were more than 50 years old — were also destroyed.

The operation was carried out under the direct supervision of the Asir governor with the participation of all government and civil services, as well as teams from Al-Namas and Tanuma governorates.