JEDDAH — More than 1.2 million people die annually in road accidents, Makkah Arabic reported on Wednesday, citing data from Friends of the Red Crescent Committee.
The Committee head, Ahmad Al-Shaikha, said Saudi Arabia records 526,000 accidents annually with up to 17 deaths daily.
“A total of SR21 billion is spent annually on road accidents. Saudi Arabia is ranked 23rd on the list of countries witnessing the highest death rates in road accidents in the world. It is second among Arab countries in terms of road deaths,” said Al-Shaikha.
He also said the committee launched a campaign in cooperation with the Red Crescent and the Traffic Department.
“We need to raise awareness about road accidents and be more socially responsible. It is truly a social issue. The government loses a lot of money as a result of these accidents,” said Al-Shaikha.
He said that by raising awareness they hope to decrease the rate of injuries and deaths by 15 percent.
“Our campaign is a comprehensive program with volunteers transporting victims to hospitals in case the paramedics are late. We also stay beside the victims the moment they enter the hospital until they leave safe and sound with their families,” said Al-Shaikha.
He also said there must be stricter traffic regulations in order to decrease the rate of accidents.
“The road mapping needs to be improved and we need to join forces to provide safety for motorists, passengers and pedestrians,” said Al-Shaikha. Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry General Secretary Adnan Mandourah said the committee presented its campaign in a meeting held on Tuesday.
“The chamber supports any projects pertaining to social responsibility. The campaign is very comprehensive as it does not only promote awareness but also cooperates with the Traffic Department and the Red Crescent to help the victims of road accidents,” said Mandourah.
He said the Friends of the Red Crescent Committee mobilizes both the public and private sectors.
“The committee promotes volunteerism and the participation of citizens in humanitarian causes,” said Mandourah.