Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Interior Ministry: ‘Ready to Apply Provisions of the Traffic Law on Men, Women’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi woman sitting behind the driving wheel. Reuters

Dammam- Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki said that women would be allowed to drive from the age of 18 as they can obtain a driver’s license and drive a car in the kingdom.

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef said security forces were ready to apply traffic laws to men and women, though he did not mention if women would be recruited as traffic police.

He said separately that lifting the ban would reduce the number of car crashes in Saudi Arabia, which has one of the world’s worst traffic death rates.

“Women driving cars will transform traffic safety to educational practice which will reduce human and economic losses caused by accidents,” he was quoted as saying on the ministry’s Twitter feed. He did not elaborate.

Turki said the Interior Minister thinks the recent decision to lift the ban on women driving represents a strong push to the ministry’s efforts to enhance traffic safety through education.

“Women will certainly benefit from being able to drive and it will help them understand traffic rules and manners. This will positively affect their educational role while raising children to properly handle cars and be on the road,” he added.

“Allowing women to drive will lead to their full awareness of the responsibilities resulting from this decree and their knowledge and understanding of the rules of traffic ethics and traffic safety requirements, which positively reflects on their educational responsibilities in raising their children on the correct and safe grounds for dealing with the vehicle and the road,” Turki told Asharq Al-Awsat.