Expats Responsible for 45 Percent of Traffic Accidents
Dr. Nahid Bashatah
According to a Greek saying, the law should have power and authority over men and not vice versa. The Council of Ministers recently approved the imposition of traffic fines to reduce the rising number of traffic violations. A study conducted and published by the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue showed that the number of traffic violations committed on our roads has increased dramatically all over the country. Around 69 percent of drivers use cell phones while driving, 57.6 percent commit at least one traffic violation a month, 11.9 percent run red lights, 33 percent do not wear seat belts and 40.3 percent do not follow speed limits.
Moreover, the study showed that 87.8 percent of respondents agree that not respecting traffic rules contributes to accidents whereas 82.7 percent believe that road works are the reason why the percentage of accidents has increased. We need to raise public awareness about the dangers of running red lights and speeding. We should not overlook the fact that teenage drivers account for a large number of accidents as well. Awareness programs alone cannot make our roads safe; families should teach their children the etiquette of driving and the importance of respecting traffic rules.
The study also indicated that expatriate workers cause 45 percent of accidents; Maj. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Ajlan, Director of Traffic in the Kingdom, confirmed this. As you can see, this is a big percentage that shows that expatriate workers contribute to making our roads more dangerous. Awareness programs should focus on expatriate workers as well.