Accidents claim 16 lives everyday in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH — At least 16 people a day die in traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia, according to Health Minister Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah.

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Published: Fri 23 Apr 2010, 9:43 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:35 AM

Quoting a fresh report issued by the administration of hospitals, which functions under the health ministry, Al Rabeeah said on Wednesday that about 6,000 people die in the kingdom every year due to traffic accidents.

More than 275,000 men, women and children are injured annually as a result of accidents across the kingdom, Al Rabeeah said, adding that the huge number of road accident victims was putting pressure on government hospitals.

The former chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee Ali Al Ghamdi, said about a third of all beds in government hospitals are occupied by road accident victims. He estimated the annual cost of road accidents at about SR26 billion, equal to four per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.

According to a paper presented at a forum on national road traffic safety in 2009, there were 4.3 million road accidents during 1989 to 2008 in the kingdom, resulting in over 86,500 deaths and more than 610,000 injuries.

Reckless driving is the cause of about 60 per cent of accidents in the country while speeding through a red light causes 34 per cent of accidents.

Al Rabeeah emphasised the importance of the recently introduced electronic ‘Saher’ system for the automatic detection of traffic violations, saying that it would play a big role in safeguarding the lives of Saudis and citizens from reckless drivers.

“The fall in road accidents will have a positive impact on public health facilities in the country,” he said.

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