By Courtney Trenwith
An average 6,850 offences recorded every day - up 13.6%, reveals Traffic Department
An average of 6,850 traffic offenses were recorded every day in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, last year, Traffic Department figures show.
The total number reached a whopping 2.5 million offenses, 13.6 percent more than the 2.2m in 2012. The figures do not include incidents reported by the Saudi religious police.
Nearly 88,000 vehicles were seized from the city's roads for various breaches during the year, although that figure was down on the 104,000 a year earlier, according to the Saudi Gazette.
A ban on drifting – a dangerous pastime when drivers make their cars spin and skid at high speed – saw the number of cases fall to 678, compared to 847.
Other common offenses included: not wearing a seat belt (800,000), illegal parking (300,000), running a red light (200,000) speeding (220,000), driving without a license (187,000), using a mobile phone while driving (145,000), reversing in traffic (32,000), dangerous overtaking (110,000) and illegal window tinting (152,000), the Traffic Department report said.
The high rate of illegal driving also contributed to the capital recording the highest number of road accidents in the kingdom. The latest figures show there were 166,800 road accidents in 2012, accounting for 28 percent of the total.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are about 25 road fatalities per 100,000 residents in Saudi Arabia each year, one of the highest rates in the world but less than Oman at 84.
The figure rises to 86.3 fatalities per 100,000 vehicles, which is a mid-range according to the WHO statistics.