Traffic violators made to visit accident victims in hospitals


Saudi Gazette report

— The directorate general of traffic in the Eastern Province has substituted the punishment of detaining violators in police custody or imprisoning them by making them visit the victims of accidents in hospitals where some of them have been confined for many years, according to a report in Al-Hayat newspaper.

The department sent as many as 412 violators were sent to a number of hospitals in the province to visit the victims of accidents, serve them and listen to their stories to take lessons from them.

It also sent many of the violators to rehabilitation centers in Dhahran general hospital to see with their own eyes the results of committing traffic violations.

The department of traffic in Najran sent the detained traffic violators to King Khaled Hospital to provide services to the victims which, among others, include cleaning them up, serving them with food and assisting them in walking around the hospital.

Dr. Mohammed Al-Shahrani, director of King Fahd University Hospital in Al-Khobar believes that the community service on violators will make them think thousand times before daring to violate the traffic rules and regulations.

"The visitors will learn lessons from the scene of traffic victims being helpless in hospitals because of the accidents they have committed," he said.

Col. Jihad Mohammed Al-Mujhid, director of Al-Khobar traffic police, said the community service program introduced by the traffic department of the Eastern Province has proved successful and will help deter rash motorists from breaking the traffic rules.

He said coordination is currently being done with the department of health affairs to expand the program and to send the detained violators to a number of hospitals and rehabilitation centers in various cities and towns in the province.

"The move is aimed at protecting road users and the motorists themselves and making them avoid committing mistakes that may end in putting them in hospitals for long periods," he said.

Dr. Yasser Al-Johani, medical director of the university hospital, said some traffic victims are in complete coma and some of them have been in the hospital since 2012.

According to the department of health, the cases of traffic injuries reached more than 877,000 of whom about 86 percent are receiving physiotherapy.

According to the latest statistics, about 72 percent of the traffic victims are young men who failed to observe the traffic rules and regulations.

It said there are about 20 deaths and 35 permanent disabilities every day with the average number of daily traffic accidents reaching about 1,400.

Statistics claim that in 2016 as many as 9,031 people died in the Kingdom of traffic accidents representing about 12.9 percent of the total number of deaths in the country and revealed that during the period 2007- 15, as many as 518,795 people died from traffic accidents.