Saudi women traffic wardens awaits final confirmation

A Saudi woman drives her car along a street in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah, in this September 27, 2017 photo. (AFP)
Updated 18 December 2017

Saudi women traffic wardens awaits final confirmation

JEDDAH: The General Directorate of Traffic has completed all preparations to employ women on the country’s traffic police force. The directorate is now waiting for the leadership’s green light to go ahead with the decision.

This was announced by the chief of the General Directorate of Traffic, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Bassami, who said that women would soon be employed at different traffic checkpoints, as well as field inspectors.

The traffic director general told local media that they had submitted a related recommendation to higher authorities in the Kingdom for final approval.

Concerned parties expect the leadership to ink the recommendation before Saudi women can be seen behind the wheel beginning in June 2018, the date ordered by a royal degree to enable women to drive.

Al-Bassami said that women have long been working at both the General Directorate of Passports and that of Prisons. “We have women police working at both passports and prisons directorates, and, when needed, we can also employ women at our traffic departments around the country,” he said.

The top traffic executive denied any leniency toward drivers who break the country’s traffic laws. Besides, gender, he added, has nothing to do with punishment. “All drivers are equal in the eyes of the law, which will be dispassionately enforced on both male and female motorists,” said Al-Bassami.

Al-Bassami last month said in a press conference that they are negotiating with the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to use their care centers for detaining women drivers whose violations require detention.

On the sidelines of the recently concluded three-day 4th Traffic Safety Forum and Exhibition, held from Dec. 11 to 13 in Dammam, Al-Bassami pointed out that the directorate and the ministry have reached an agreement to benefit from care centers in detaining aggressive women drivers.

He had earlier noted that Article 37 of the Saudi Traffic Regulations allows women with valid international driving licenses to drive on Kingdom’s roads without the need to attend the local driving schools. However, Al-Bassami added that women with licenses from GCC states can get Saudi licenses without taking a driving test.


Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

Updated 45 min 28 sec ago

Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

  • “We share common values,” said Majid Al-Qasabi

TOKYO: Saudi Arabia has a “special relationship” with Japan, which is “reliable strategic partner and friend” of the Kingdom, the Saudi Minister for Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi said on Monday.

The minister was speaking at the launch in Tokyo of the Japanese-language online edition of Arab News, in the latest stage of its global expansion. The event came on the eve of Tuesday’s ceremonial enthronement of Emperor Naruhito in the Japanese capital. “This is a great opportunity, a moment in history,” Al-Qasabi said.

The news website, published in Japanese and English, will focus on enabling the exchange of information between Japan and the Arab world in business, current affairs, and arts and culture. “It will be good to have news in Japanese so many Japanese can read about the Arab world,” Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono said at the launch.

Common values

“We share common values, we have a high respect for the elders and we think that the family is very important … to me we are friends and I think we need to work together.

“In order to do that we need to know what people in the Middle East are actually thinking, what is happening on a daily basis, and we haven’t got the source for that — but now Arab News is in Japan.

“This is a very good means to exchange information between the Middle East and Japan, so I am very much looking forward to it.”