(MENAFN - Arab News) Several public and private sector bodies launched a national safe driving campaign recently aimed at children and adults to help reduce the increasing number of accidents on the Kingdom's roads
The Disabled Children's Association, the Riyadh Traffic Department, the Saudi Football League and the Ministry of Health have combined efforts to launch the six-month initiative
There are an estimated 20 deaths daily on the Kingdom's roads. Last year, doctors performed 707 amputations due to road accidents
Accidents increased by 78 percent in the Kingdom recently, affecting mostly young people between 18 and 22 years of age. Around 30 percent of those injured are permanently disabled due to these accidents. The state has spent some SR21 billion treating such patients
Health Minister Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said the campaign would focus on road safety. To accommodate the injured, the ministry plans to provide 600 more beds for victims in Riyadh, Eastern Province, Jeddah and in the government hospital in the north of the Kingdom, the minister said
He said the ministry has undertaken a special program in line with the goals of the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent the increasing number of accidents.
Faisal Al-Anezi from the ministry thanked Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the DCA, for the initiative. He said the ministry has plans to set up trauma centers in all parts of the Kingdom to treat road accident victims. The ministry hopes to draft a national strategy to overcome this problem gradually, in cooperation with the WHO. "The ministry is keen to develop its curative, preventative and rehabilitation services to benefit accident victims.
He said the national strategy would be in line with UN goals to reduce traffic accidents over the period 2011 to 2020