“Why aren’t you here!?!?! Get here ASAP!”
I was lazing around reading The Pilgrimage and my husband had just come back from work when we received a panic phone call from an acquaintance. We weren’t due at our destination for another 2 hours but conjectured maybe there had been a mix up.
In a zipzap of hurry we left our house. For being a woman, I broke all time records at getting ready and we were out in less than 5 minutes.
My husband jammed his foot on the pedal pushing the car to a 140 km most of the time. 15 minutes into the journey, we got pulled over at a checkpoint (They have these in Saudi at strategic places over the city). Now this was a first ’cause we had never been stopped. Any person with moderate intelligence would know what came next…
Yeah yeah …. we got a ticket!
Somewhere along the way we were spied upon either by a police car or a speed gun, still not sure which. There were a whole lot of suckers just like us standing there getting their nice lil rickety tickets.
My husband came and handed me our first ever one. The paper shouted 300 SAR!!! That’s like $80 !!!
And the next thing I heard him say adamantly : ” That’s the way it should be!”
I chuckled away silently the rest of the way thinking he is what every father would want for his daughter….
Saudi Arabia has a record of having the most vehicle accidents– the most deadliest and horrid. Just go to YouTube and type Saudi Arabia accidents. Don’t do this right after you’ve eaten.
The reason? Speed and Stupidity. The whole country is laden with highways which run across cities as well. The speed limit is a 120 km/hr which is usually followed very closely. Well almost everyone except the BMW’s, the Mercedes, the GMC’s and all the other 4 x 4s. It would be an insult for them to go at ignoble speeds. And since this is an oil rich country, the percentage of these type of cars is only a meek 85 percent or so.
On an another note, Saudi drivers are stupid. They take needless risks for needless thrills; at times even resorting to playing target practice with innocent pedestrians and at other times doing overtaking contests. Their sagacity for their lack of intelligence is quite great.
Hence the government is resorting to putting fines, speedguns, cameras and checkpoints all over the country to curb this menace.
For speed, one can resort to finding ways to control.
But how do you tackle stupidity?