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Saudi Arabia: Conclusion of Study on Arrangements that Let Women Drive

Saudi Arabia: Conclusion of Study on Arrangements that Let Women Drive

Thursday, 23 November, 2017 - 08:00
A Saudi woman checks a car at a showroom in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on October 5, 2017. Reuters

A study on the required arrangements allowing women to drive was completed and referred to King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi officials said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki clarified, during a press conference held in Riyadh on Wednesday and attended by some security leaders in the kingdom, that the committees - set up by the king’s royal decree that allowed women to drive - have made their recommendations in line with conventional regulations.

A woman who passes the driving test and acquires a license is permitted to drive inside or outside the city, stated Turki.

He added that Minister of Interior Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef took the initiative to form a committee to follow-up and develop traffic management. The committee’s membership includes security officers and an elite of specialized indivuduals and experts.

Notably, the committee managed, within a short period, to direct traffic development procedures and enhance road safety. It also aimed at qualifying drivers and ensuring a regular presence on roads to enforce regulations with the assistance of developed techniques, according to Turki.

Further, director general of the traffic department Brig. Gen. Mohammed Abdullah al-Bassami said the department is preparing a new strategy and is developing a list of driving schools.

“Women driving will be an added value. We have initial coordination with the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to apprehend any female that violates the law or causes an accident,” he added.

Bassami mentioned that replacing a license granted by another country with a Saudi license is determined through security coordination and cooperation, asserting that the amount of fines for violations is being reconsidered.

Maj. Gen. Bassam al-Attiyah of the Interior Ministry said there is an accident every minute, 20 deaths daily, and that 79 percent of accidents occur outside cities.

Since the end of 2016, there have been more than 160,000 accidents leading to 30,000 injuries i.e. four injuries every one hour not to mention the more than 7,000 deaths in 2017.

Attiyah stated that traffic issues are draining financial and humanitarian resources and causing social and psychological problems. 

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