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.


Saudi Arabia announces 35 more deaths from COVID-19

Updated 14 August 2020

Saudi Arabia announces 35 more deaths from COVID-19

  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 262,959
  • A total of 3,338 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

LONDON: Saudi Arabia announced 35 more deaths from COVID-19 and 1,383 new cases of the disease on Friday.

Of the new cases, 81 were recorded in Makkah, 77 in Hail, 69 in Jeddah and 63 in Riyadh.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 262,959 after 2,566 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 3,338 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

On Thursday, the health ministry announced Saudi Arabia had conducted more than 4 million COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests since the beginning of the outbreak.