New Road Rules in Saudi Arabia: Can They Be Enforced?

Finally the Kingdom is clamping down and enforcing new rules of the road! These new rules and regulations may seem and feel like extreme measures to the residents of the Kingdom but given the track record where an individual dies each hour in the Kingdom due to a traffic incident it was time to try different tactics towards enforcing the laws of the road.

It is now prohibited to drive and talk on the mobile phone or send text messages while driving. First time offenders will be stopped and levied a 500 SAR fine. This is likely one of the most difficult habits to break and perhaps to enforce as well. The culture in the region and not just in Saudi Arabia is for the mobile to be glued to ones ear. If a mobile phone is not turned off it cannot go unanswered.

If anyone is caught speeding instead of just receiving a traffic violation and levied a fine, the offender will be taken directly to jail where he must spend the night. Compassion will likely be shown if an offender has female family members with him because if he is taken away to jail, then how do the females reach their destinations without an approved/authorized mahrem. Even Prince Salman, Governor of Riyadh, was heard to remark how this new rule must be enforced even if an offender is a member of the Royal Family.

Children 6 years of age and under can not ride in the laps of someone else while in a moving vehicle. It is quite common to see several children standing or in the lap of another passenger or even that of the driver. It is also not unusual to see 10 or more individuals in a vehicle given the size of Saudi families and the tradition to also travel with ones housemaid. Many times on the roadway one will see the housemaid sitting stooped and cramped in the back of a Yukon or Explorer or other SUV among the luggage while the rest of the family is equally cramped in the seats.

These are all good rules but part of the key towards success will be whether they can be enforced. While one hears Prince Salman saying no exceptions to be made at the same time would YOU wish to be the traffic policeman sending a Royal to jail for the night? Additionally while residents of all nationalities are offenders again the traffic police will need to demonstrate that the laws are applicable and applying to everyone. The people need to see that Saudis will also be duly processed if in violation of the new rules. So many times it is the third country nationals whom one hears about being processed. Although I can say I know personally of some Saudis who were caught violating the new road rules and processed accordingly.

I sincerely hope these new road rules are successful and ultimately cut down on the number of violations and traffic fatalities. I guess ultimately time will tell.

About these ads

2 Responses

  1. Time indeed will tell.

  2. This seems to be the most typical remark on hearing about the new road rules which seems to indicate not much faith…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Gravatar Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,277 other followers

%d bloggers like this: