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Tue 26 Jun 2018 09:59 AM

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Over 120,000 women in Saudi apply for driving licences

Driving institutes for women have been established across the kingdom, while female road inspectors will be introduced in the coming weeks, authorities said

Over 120,000 women in Saudi apply for driving licences
Esraa Albuti, executive director with Ernst and Young, was among first ten women to get a driving license in Saudi Arabia.

In line with Sunday’s historic lifting of the world’s only female driving ban, over 120,000 women in Saudi Arabia have applied for driving licences, according to a joint press conference in Riyadh featuring the ministry of interior and the traffic department.

Six driving institutes for women have been established across the kingdom to keep up with rising demand, while 40 female road inspectors will commence their duties in the coming weeks, ministry spokesperson major general Mansour Al Turki said.

He added that the ‘high standards’ being applied to women's driving schools will be the ‘benchmark’ for all schools, including those for men.

Esraa Albuti, one of the first Saudi women to hold a driving license, said, “I’m proud of the news about driving. It’s a step forward, and it will add a lot to the lives of women.”


The joint press conference in Riyadh featuring the ministry of interior and the traffic department

Meanwhile, director general of the traffic department major general Mohammed Al Bassami said no traffic violations by women motorists have been recorded by the traffic department on Sunday.

Authorities have warned against harassment against female drivers however, urging residents to behave in line with Islamic values.

On Sunday, Saudi police officers were pictures handing women motorists flowers together with safety messages attached to them.

The lifting of the ban is line with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 to modernise the kingdom, and is expected to add $90 billion to economic output.