(MENAFN - Arab News) Road safety experts rated Saudi roads as among the world's most dangerous at a recent conference in Abu Dhabi highlighting road safety in GCC countries. On average 19 road fatalities occur every day in the Kingdom.
Zeina Nazer, secretary-general of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Arabia, said there has been a 10 percent increase in the number of fatalities this year. This has resulted in the government spending over billions of dollars in remedial costs.
Despite several measures and initiatives taken by the government to enhance traffic safety, experts say Saudi roads continue to carry the title of being the most dangerous in the world.
Experts blame reckless and aggressive driving by motorists for this and say that most car accidents are caused by young drivers owing to a lack of proper driving training and a careless attitude.
"Saudi Arabia spends 6 billion per year on the management of car accidents and 250 million per year on medical care for those injured on Saudi roads, while 19.1 deaths a day on average makes the Gulf country among the most dangerous in the world for drivers," said Nazer at the conference.
Reports from the World Health Organization say that Gulf residents are seven times more likely to die in a car accident than UK residents.
Nazer mentioned that the Saudi Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Interior have implemented major phases that will help in saving lives and reducing traffic congestion.
"The automated traffic violation administering and monitoring (ATVAM) project is currently deploying advanced digital photo citation systems at 1,600 intersections in Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, Tabuk and Qassim to cite red-light and speeding violators," said Nazer.
She added: "A shocking absence of driver lane discipline and failure to properly use turn signals and obey traffic lights amplifies the frequent stress and danger of driving in the GCC."