Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Streets of Rage

Recently i wrote a comment in one of the blogs i follow regarding driving in saudi arabia,the comment was in reply to a topic regarding why saudi arabia is not yet ready to have new category of drivers added to its streets (in the post case,it was women),as i said in my comment,i have no opposition what so ever against women driving in saudi,but i do object on allowing a new caliber of drivers into the Streets of Saudi arabia while it remains the world in the number of traffic accidents worldwide.
this is a video that sums up pretty much the driving conditions in saudi arabia.

the Author of the blog where i dropped my comment (a great blog about everyday parenting from a full time mommy,i highly recommend following if u are a parent or soon to be), believed that if women drove,it will lead to less number of drivers coming from 3rd world countries,who are usually over worked and stressed there would be less accidents.

though her opinion might be correct to a certain point,i kept thinking of it all day and a question raised in my head,if they are the reason why accidents in saudi so high,why is it that its saudi is the leader in accidents,while the countries where they come from,which are considered "less fortunate" and not as civilized as saudi arabia,for instance,India and indonesia have a rate of 16 compared to 29 Road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year according to wikipedia?

personally my experience through my childhood and early youth in saudi tells me other wise,having lost many of my high school friends in car accidents,i can pretty much say the majority of the accidents ive witnessed or been part of,were by young saudis,or young residents of saudi arabia who grew up in saudi.

My cousin died recently from a car accident,he fell asleep while driving.

one of my highschool friends happend when i was in the 8 grade,a classmate was driving so fast he hit a pole and flew through the windshield dropping dead. i still remember his name,his face like i just met him an hour ago.

another friend of mine,who thank god is still alive,now an aviator,got his car into an accident that costed him abit over 12000$ to have it fixed.

many of my friends of today,who i sit and have coffee with,and now successful professionals of dentists,engineers or accountants,talk about they early days of driving,and how drifting was THE favorite practice to them when they have time to spare,now they look back and wonder how on earth they did that and what were they thinking,i my self not so long ago used to zigzag across the busiest streets of jeddah driving around 140 km/hrs,and my motto was "drive it like you stole it".
things changed though,and i am glad it did for my self without much damage.

this is an example of what is seen everyonce in a while in the city streets of riyadh.

this one is a bit graphic,so if u are weak hearted you might want to avoid it.

Point is,the majority of the accidents happens by the ones who are strong enough to abuse the system and be above the law,expat drivers might get into accidents sure,but catastrophic accidents usually happens not from drivers,but from our youth and young ones.
Saudi arabia needs an aggressive approach to apply Strict traffic rules with sever consequences that brings the streets to order,felonies and fines doesn't seem to stop many,either they can avoid paying it since in saudi arabia (at least till now) does not revoke your license after a certain number of violation,and getting locked up isn't always a consequence for traffic violations,the majority of our youth,including my self in my early years,never took the law seriously,and i am afraid this will continue to happen and pass from generation to generation unless a strict application of law takes place.


Chiara said...

This is a really important topic and at the request of a reader I am about to do another post on it.

The first one detailed the research on who has what type of accident in Saudi and why.

Saudi Arabia Takes the Gold! In MVA's, RTA's, Car Accidents/ Fatalities/ Injuries

I summarized the problems and proposed solutions. There are also links to academic and journalism articles of relevance.

Saudi drivers, and the demographic are part of the story but not all; and expat drivers are only responsible for one type of accident.

I'm sorry about your cousin.

Take a look at the post, and I will link back here when the other one goes up (this week).

Thanks for sharing your personal experience of how this happens and the consequences.

Anonymous said...

I like your post.But,Why are we (women)the victim of lousy driving?We're pretty much the victim of every mistake men do here.I don't think that making women drive will be a problem,maybe making men don't drive instead is the solution :P(although it's a reasonable solution)

Dentographer said...

Hey Anon,

i wouldnt say women are victims of lousy driving,thought yes i agree women might be the victim of every mistake made by men,but think of it this way,if u wanted to go to a place for the first time,would u rather go there when after its made safe,or rather go there when its risky and dangerous?

Again,i dont see women driving IS a problem,the problem is the EXISTING drivers,and i am not blaming women,or asking not to allow them to drive,i am only giving an over view of what i see a good strategy for a successful implementation of a plan to allow a new category of drivers into the streets of saudi arabia,without referring to their gender or anything of that sort,but rather as a mass addition of drivers to the streets.

i hope you get my point,my post was not intended to be sexist at any point.

Dentographer said...

Also,i know what Female drivers are capable of,i suggest you google Sabine Schmitz.

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