RIYADH: The number of deaths and injuries caused by traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia fell between 2017 and 2018, the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) said on Monday.
At a presentation to the 2019 Traffic Safety Conference in Riyadh, the MoI revealed the number of deaths in the Kingdom had dropped from over 7,000 in 2017 to 6,025 in 2018, with traffic-related injuries down almost 10 percent to around 30,000.
Traffic safety experts from all over the world are taking part in the three-day conference, including from the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea.
Dr. Nhan Tran, Unintentional Injury Prevention coordinator at the World Health Organization, told Arab News: “Saudi Arabia actually has one of the highest rates of road deaths in the world, with 28 people dying for every 100,000,” he added, recommending stronger speeding restrictions and more public transport to solve the problem.
Mike Dreznes, the executive vice president of the International Road Federation, told Arab News that the main cause of accidents in the Kingdom was reckless driving, and that education in this area was essential to avoid unnecessary tragedies.
He added that the country needed to emulate the safest nations in the world, like Sweden, the UK and the Netherlands, where greater driver scrutiny and awareness meant road deaths were only around three per 100,000 people.
The MoI has set a target to reduce road-related fatalities to eight per 100,000 as part of the government’s Vision 2030 program.