JEDDAH — Saudi Minister of Health and Chairman of the Traffic Safety Committee Fahd Al-Jalajel said that Saudi Arabia has made great progress in the aspect of traffic safety as it achieved a sharp drop in the number of traffic accident deaths by 50 percent and injury rates by 35 percent. These figures were revealed in a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2023, he pointed out.

Al-Jalajel attributed the decrease in accident fatalities and injuries to enhancing the quality of infrastructure and the Kingdom’s compliance with traffic safety standards, apart from contributing factors including technical, legislative, awareness, and health elements. “With all these, Saudi Arabia achieved the global goal of reducing deaths resulting from road accidents by 50 percent in 2023 before the end of the Second United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety in 2030,” the minister noted.

Saudi Arabia has doubled its keenness on reducing road accident deaths, as it managed to reduce the rate to 35 percent over the past five years, after the number of road accident deaths declined from 9,311 in 2016 to 6,651 in 2021, the WHO report showed.

Traffic safety, in its broad sense, aims to adopt all plans, programs, traffic regulations and preventive measures to curb traffic accidents, and preserve the country’s security and its human and economic capabilities.

Data from the General Traffic Department indicate that the rates of loss of national product due to traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia at one time reached 4.7 percent, while it did not exceed 1.7 percent in Australia, England, and America. On the other hand, the size of the economic cost resulting from traffic accident losses is estimated at about SR21 billion annually, as the Traffic Department disclosed on its official website.

The General Authority for Roads launched the Saudi Road Code, which is a technical reference for the authorities responsible for roads in Saudi Arabia at all levels, such as ministries, development authorities in the regions, city development authorities, regional mayoralties, municipalities of cities and governorates so as to enable the authorities to access the information necessary for planning, designing, implementation, operation and maintenance of all types of roads in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Road Code includes 25 codes distributed over planning and preliminary studies of roads, as well as the design, implementation and maintenance of roads, bridges and tunnels, in addition to traffic engineering and road safety. There is also a special code for the environmental aspects of roads, with a code allocated to the requirements of self-driving vehicles

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