Saudi Arabia - It seems that the Traffic Department has still not decided the best way to deal with women drivers who violate traffic rules. What about women who commit first-degree violations such as running red lights or driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street, violations that can be punished with imprisonment.
The Traffic Department has two options. It could change the penalties for women. However, this would expose the department to criticism for failing to treat men and women equally. The other option is imprisonment. The department could imprison women who commit major violations just as they now imprison men, and this is what they plan to do.
The department has made an agreement with social care centers all over the country to take in women who commit major traffic violations. This will be done under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development.
Al-Hayat newspaper recently published some statistics about road accidents in the Kingdom. The report warned that the number of traffic accidents was on the rise and drivers breaking traffic rules were responsible for most of the accidents. There is an accident every minute and 20 people die every day on our roads.
These accidents cost the authorities SR20 billion a year. The rising number of accidents clearly shows that the harsh punishment imposed on violators has not reduced the number of fatalities and injuries.
Therefore, imprisonment should be replaced with another form of punishment that would be more effective and a greater deterrent. Violators should be sentenced to community service such as helping out at rehabilitation centers and hospitals and assisting people who have been injured in road accidents. This would teach drivers that they should not violate traffic rules.
A reward and punishment system could also be introduced that would involve the Traffic Department creating a record for individual drivers and issuing points for bad driving.
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