The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.
In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.
Not roads, as this article suggests:
Road Defects Causing Accidents, Reveals Survey
RIYADH, 21 March 2004 — Traffic accidents in the Kingdom have reached alarming proportions. According to Traffic Department statistics, the number of accidents in the Kingdom last year was 268,392.
Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper, a sister publication of Arab News, conducted a study and found two basic reasons for accidents.
The first, behind 84 percent of traffic accidents, is the driver’s behavior when he gets behind the wheel. Drivers are reckless and, if they are aware of rules and regulations, choose not to follow them. High speed is also a problem with many drivers claiming to be unaware of speed limits.
As they say themselves, 84% of accidents are caused by driver behavior. So that makes 16% caused by bad roads. So they quote the 16% rather than the 84%, we Saudis don't like "losing face". But let's face it, when it comes to reckless and dangerous driving, we are the World Champions.
Major causes of road accidents?
- Police are afraid to pull up anyone driving fast in a Mercedes, in case he's a Prince and they get reprimanded
- Parents with lots of children crawling all over the front and back seats, never in seat belts or child seats, they're instant projectiles when there's an accident. That, and our large families, is why you keep seeing reports saying "One accident, 2 cars, 19 dead".
- Fathers driving with small children sitting on their lap. When there's an accident, they're much squishier than an air-bag.
- People driving at speed and talking on mobile. Maybe with small child on lap.
- Drivers who change lanes without giving a signal. They never had signals on a camel.
- Idiots driving at speed on outside "emergency lane", flashing lights to try and get idiots in front to move over, and being flashed by idiots behind.
- Idiots switching lanes every 5 seconds, as though they were Formula 1 drivers. they are not.
(For a really frightening drive, and plenty of examples of the two above, try Riyadh's northern ring road on Wednesday and Thursday night, as the morons make their way to the "Resters" (bars without booze) in Riyadh's north-eastern outskirts).
- Lazy policemen who just like to look good, flashing their blue lights, but never actually do anything. Especially when they see a Mercedes.