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.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Menace of Under-age Drivers 

If someone drives into you, there's a 1 in 10 chance he's under 16.

Underage Drivers Add to Chaos on the Roads

For readers from other countries, I must explain that we do not have a system of driving schools and rigorous testing. When you go to the Centre to get a licence, they ask you to drive round a circuit, and then reverse between some cones. If you can do that, you get your licence. That's why Saudi driving is probably the worst in the world.

However lots of parents let their kids drive, even when they are too young for a licence. So what do the Shawarma Champions, our intrepid Police, do?

And that's the other thing. When they hit you, they won't be insured, so you'll have to pay for the repairs yourself.

(That's another thing about this country. Until recently, motor insurance was optional. The Imams used to say it was against Islam, because it was "gambling". However the government, in an uncharacteristically progressive move, brought it in. But not for 13-year-olds)

A large number of accidents involve under-age drivers going too fast and driving into walls, killing themselves. That helps to solve the problem.

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