|Horrible Accidents on Our Roads
Muhammad Diyab, Asharq Al-Awsat
|Thousands of people are dying daily in the Gulf region because of traffic accidents. If they manage to escape death then they either become disabled or paralyzed.
Kuwait is ranked No. 2 internationally in the number of pedestrian deaths. The United Arab Emirates is ranked No. 2 in vehicular accidents. In tiny Bahrain, 36 people died in car accidents in six months. In Saudi Arabia, a person dies every hour as a result of car accidents. These statistics are truly horrifying.
It becomes at times a death wish to roam the streets. We have become desensitized to the fact that the chances of having a near-death experience on any given day are very high. When you leave your home in the morning, there is a lamentably good chance you might not make it home.
We can’t deny that each country of the Gulf Cooperation Council is trying extensively to spread traffic awareness among the public. But these efforts haven’t been fruitful enough to establish a level of maturity and responsibility among drivers to reduce the blood spillage on our pavements.
Awareness must be attained by discipline and force. Irresponsible drivers must know that there are penalties awaiting them when they fail to adhere to the rules, especially speeding and indifference to traffic lights.
A new traffic penalty was implemented in Qatar; now if you run a red light there, the fine would be anywhere between SR6,000 and SR50,000, depending on the result of your folly. If you get into a serious accident for running a red light you could face up to three years in a Qatari prison. I believe it is only a matter of time before other Gulf countries started implementing similar crackdowns.
When people misuse means of transportation — because of carelessness — and change it into a killing tool, society members must impose all strict methods to protect themselves.
I truly admire whoever said this proverb: If the family that doesn’t bring one up properly, the government will.