Accident-prone Ula-Tabuk highway needs overhaul

Accident-prone Ula-Tabuk highway needs overhaul

The wreckage of a car involved in a deadly accident abandoned along the Ula-Tabuk Road. — Okaz photo

By Abdullah Al-Sugair
Okaz/Saudi Gazette

AL-ULA – Saeed Al-Mouraee still remembers the horrendous accident that killed his brother Nasser on Ula-Tabuk Road some seven years ago.
Preliminary investigations showed that Nasser’s car collided head on with another car at one of the many dangerous curves on the road.

“I will never forget the day when I took my brother’s body to his house to the shock of the whole family. My father and mother could not believe it and our mother fell unconscious seeing the body and remained in coma for several days,” Al-Mouraee told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

He said Nasser’s death was a big loss to his family and society, as he was young and energetic, and very helpful to others, especially the poor. Al-Mauraee urged the authorities to remove the road’s dangerous curves and put up safety signs in order to save precious lives.

It is not Al-Mouraee alone who is concerned about the dangerous nature of Ula-Tabuk Road. People living along the 250-km highway have many sad stories of deadly accidents to tell.

They spoke about the dangerous curves and lack of safety means, stressing the need to establish a median dividing the lanes on the two-way road. They called upon the Transport Ministry to upgrade the road to a dual carriageway to cut down fatal accidents.

Mohammed Abdullah Al-Qadi spoke about the danger posed by the road to motorists as well as passengers. “It’s a busy road and pass through a number of townships and villages,” he said and stressed the need to transform the road into a dual carriageway quickly.

Abdullah Al-Subhi urged the authorities to look into the dangerous condition of the road and take immediate measures to alleviate the suffering of travelers. He called for the establishment of a center of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority along the road to take care of accident victims.

Ahmed Al-Najdi, Ibrahim Khamis and Salim Al-Biluwi denounced the ministry’s negligence toward this vital road. “The ministry should know that this road is passing through tourism and heritage sites in Al-Ula, which houses the historic site of Madain Saleh,” said Al-Biluwi.

Abdullah Al-Allawi said a large number of people cross the road daily, including students and teachers. “Many huge trucks take this route to escape from weighing machine and traffic police,” he pointed out.

Abdullah Al-Ateek spoke about camels and sheep that cross the road, causing deadly accidents. The ministry should construct fences on both sides of the road, he added.

Mohammed Al-Huwaiti, chairman of Al-Ula Municipal Council, said the council has been following maintenance of the road by removing sand dunes and filling potholes.

“A committee has been set up under the leadership of the chief administrator of Al-Ula to improve the condition of Ula-Tabuk Road,” Al-Huwaiti told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

He said the committee has urged the ministry to put safety signs along the road. He also urged the Madinah Municipality to make a proposal for widening Ula-Al-Bareeka Road.