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'Traffic rules same for all'.

Byline: Arab News

Mohammed Rasooldeen | Arab News

RIYADH: Traffic rules in the Kingdom are implemented without discrimination regardless of religion or nationality, a senior official at the Riyadh Traffic Department said at a Traffic Awareness Program held for expatriates at Half Moon Auditorium in Batha on Friday.

"All are treated equally before laws of the Kingdom and expatriates are also given the option to submit their grievances, if any, to a traffic court for necessary justice," Maj. Saud Abdulaziz Al Fagham, director of the Riyadh Traffic Department headquarters, told expatriates. The program was organized by the Riyadh chapter of Thrissur Jilla Paravaasi Koottayma, an Indian community group.

Addressing the audience, Maj. Al-Fagham said that aggrieved expatriates could complain directly to the Traffic Court in Nasseriyah giving the vehicle number, name of the traffic policeman and the date and place of the accident. "The court will not hesitate to take action against any wrong doer, be he Saudi or expatriate," the official said, stressing that no one in the Kingdom is above the law.

Some 50,000 people in the Kingdom have died in traffic accidents over the past 10 years and a further 300,000 have been injured. These accidents have obliged the Kingdom to spend SR100 billion on human injuries and damaged property. The current traffic mortality rate is estimated at 6,400 a year.

Answering a question, Maj. Al-Fagham said vehicles in parking lot could not be towed away. "If there are genuine complaints, the traffic court will refund the fines imposed on the motorists and action will be taken against the company which towed away wrongly parked vehicles."

He advised motorists to ensure that all safety measures in vehicles are functional. "Tires, brakes, brake lights, signals, air pillow on the steering wheel, seat belts and wipers are basic equipment that should function well," he stressed, pointing out that the absence of these could lead to accidents and deaths.

He said that some 40,000 traffic officers had been deployed to monitor traffic movements in all parts of the Kingdom. In addition to these officials, cameras have been installed on highways and at major signals to record motorists who run red lights. He added that the introduction of penalties on motorists using mobile phones while driving had reduced the number of accidents. He advised drivers to put mobiles on silent mode while driving so that they would not be distracted by incoming calls.

Maj. Al- Fagham said members of the public have an obligation to report to the traffic police if they see an under-aged driver on the road. "It will facilitate the police in tracking down such drivers if details of vehicle number and location are given," he said, pointing out that driving licenses are issued only to those who are above 18 years of age.

He said motorists were allowed to drive someone else's vehicle provided the driver has a letter of authority, duly signed by the concerned Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also said that the delay in giving police clearance for deaths is mainly due to the fact that people do not have the required data in the passport department. "How can we issue a death certificate without knowing the identity of the deceased?" he asked.

Copyright: Arab News 2009 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:May 13, 2009
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