coincidence?

24 May
This video clip was made by a young Saudi who lost a relative in an automobile accident.
The statistics are terrible. The population of Saudi Arabia is about 28 million
We have one of (if not THE) highest death-caused-by-car-accident rates in the world. And it’s most noteworthy that we  just happens to be the only country to not allow women to drive. Coincidence?
Instead there are over a million foreign men, some illiterate, some who never in their lives sat behind the wheel of a car before coming to Saudi Arabia.
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10 Responses to “coincidence?”

  1. Al Saud April 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    As Salaam Alaikum

    I grew up in Jeddah and that where I learnt to drive. I was quite proud of my “Saudi Driving” until I moved to London. When I sat my driving test I failed it. In UK you are allowed 13 minor fault, no serious or dangerous faults. Serious faults could be not giving way when it is the other cars right of way, not checking the blind spot when there is a car in that area, not acknowledging pedestrians or 3 minor faults of the same time constitute to form a serious fault. A dangerous fault is when you put your life or any other road users life at risk. This is when the examiner terminates the test by braking and abandoning the test.

    I had 3 minor faults but one serious. I was shocked but said no problem lets do it again. I failed again 1 serious fault. This kept happening again and again 8 times. The faults were never the same. I realised then, I knew how to drive, So why was I failing the tests. It was the saudi driving manners. Lack of respect for other users was the major cause.

    I think what Saudi Arabia needs to do is invest in educating our youth from school. Sometimes showing horrific accident pictures can send the message across. Theory tests in the UK mainly constitute safety questions, road signs and accident and emergency situations.

    I think you comment

    “Instead there are over a million foreign men, some illiterate, some who never in their lives sat behind the wheel of a car before coming to Saudi Arab”

    borders around racism. These men are there because you want them to be there to drive you around. I know majority of them come from Pakistan or India. I know many people who never took their tests but had driving licenses. In 1990’s I first witnessed the culture of bribe taking. Saudi driving examiners charging SR 1500 to SR 2000 to turn the pass drivers. This is where it has all gone wrong. These foreigners could never pass their test had it not been for the corrupt Saudi who passed them.

    I can expose the corruption by actually showing a case of a Pakistani man who has only one eye given a clean chit to drive. A disaster waiting to happen.

    I think this is what is needed.
    1) Crackdown on Corruption
    2) Education (not just state schools but even foreign schools)
    3) Proper Road markings i,e (Well painted roads, intersections, junctions)
    5) Installation of Speed Cameras
    6) Traffic Light Cameras
    7) Mobile Units
    8 ) Enforcing speed Limits
    9) Speed Bumps on every street especially right in front of building entrances on the streets for safety of children and also around schools
    10) Strict traffic restrictions around schools
    11) Strict parking rules, many times badly parked cars occupy most of the road and add to the traffic woes.
    12) Educating Pedestrians, investment in pedestrian crossings
    13) Penalising pedestrians for crossing when it is not safe to do so.

    I think the list could go on and on. The thing is there should be a WILL to do it. And that should start top down as well as there needs to be an effort by everyone to persist the authorities to act on it. Education can also be imparted at home until these measures come into effect.

    Something before I finish this comment is the need to educate drivers in the middle east about blind spots. Ignorance about blind spots is a big issue in the middle east. Looking in the side mirrors when pulling out or changing lanes is just not enough. It is important to glance over the shoulders to make sure no one is in the blind spot.

    Being a good muslim also can play a major role. A good muslim can be courteous and will always respect other road users rights. ( not that westerners who have better road accident records are muslims but they do show all the qualities of a good muslim when they drive and that is respect for other road users)

    Sorry if I have taken way too much of your comments space. I haven’t revised my comments, please excuse any spelling or grammar mistakes.

    • ksadriverdiaries April 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

      Wa Alaikum al salam,
      Bil3aks! your comment is more than welcome. I enjoyed your UK exam story and I really appreciate the in-depth analysis of what needs to change.
      Also, I do realize that my comment borders on racism, and I’m not so proud of that. I just couldn’t find a better way to express how I feel, as a local, a Saudi, being denied rights that even foreigners can exercise simply because of my gender.
      I hold a US driver’s license (Passed the 1st time, I’m proud to say!). In California, you are allowed three minors and zero major, so Its similar to the UK exam in some points. I also know EXACTLY what you mean about blind spots, my driver’s ed instructor hammered that into my head on day one. Told me a scary story about a kid on a bike that got killed due to neglect in checking the blind spot.
      But the points you are suggesting should be implemented regardless, to make the streets safer generally. Personally I don’t see the connection between women driving and cracking down on the road system simply because we are using the streets anyways. so we are exposed to those dangers with a driver or without. And I can’t honestly wait till the roads are perfectly safe because (let’s be honest here) the changes your are proposing will take years, if not decades. Its changing a whole mindset and changing roadside manners in an entire country. That won’t happen overnight. If I’m exposed to all those dangers either way, why not with me behind the wheel?
      Again, I really do appreciate your comment, the longer the better in my opinion! And I welcome any more you might have 🙂

    • Al Saud April 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

      Sorry , If made you feel like women drivers are not welcome on the roads until those measures were put into place/motion. I suggested them just to make the roads safe in general.
      🙂

      How is out there by the way? I haven’t returned since 1994, to be honest I could never call any other place home, thats how much I got attached to Jeddah having spent 16 years growing up .

      • ksadriverdiaries April 3, 2011 at 9:53 am #

        Ohh okay, I guess I jumped to conclusions! sorry, my bad!

        It’s Good hamdillah. Full of Life, full of people, full of traffic! LOL, chaotic, but that’s how Jeddawis like it I guess.
        I know what you mean about not being able to call any other place home. It kills me to see the city so neglected though. I guess its growing at such a fast rate its really hard to fix things. Last time I looked up the City population, It was in the 3.4 million range!
        Why don’t you come back for a visit? You’d be amazed at how much it has grown.

      • Al Saud April 5, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

        Insha Allah, I do hope to visit soon.

        My sister who now lives in Bahrain, did tell me what you have said about the neglect that it suffers now. Also, the recent floods might have just made things much more worse.

        Looking to move back to a GCC country sometime soon but wife is scared of some stories she has heard about men groping womens he is terrified. She prefers Bahrain whilst I like Jeddah due to its proximity to the holy city of Makkah.

      • ksadriverdiaries April 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

        You don’t have to worry about groping in Jeddah! NO WAY! Hahaha I don’t know anyone who has ever gotten groped here- oh wait. Once, like, 9 years ago. But she reported him to the police. But generally, its very rare. VERY. Probably the same as your chances of getting groped in London or Frankfurt by a drunk or something.
        A lot of people prefer Bahrain thou (Hey, she can drive!!) and the people are really friendly there. Good luck to you both in deciding!

        p.s. fixed your typo! 😉

  2. Jeannie Arabia June 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    I got so caught up in this excellent video I forgot to say how deeply sorry I am that you lost a relative in such a tragic way

    • ksadriverdiaries April 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

      not my relative, the creator of the video’s. but thank you for your comment!

  3. Jeannie Arabia June 13, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Mumtaaz!

    This should be on every Arabic channel and shown in every high school classroom.

  4. Om Lujain May 31, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Thank you very much for sharing this!

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