Hangin’ Out

One thing that upsets me here in Saudi Arabia is how children are not buckled in when traveling in cars. Some young boys are even allowed to drive, and all the while women are restricted from doing so. Every time we are out, it is commonplace to see children inside vehicles jumping around, standing up, or hanging out of the windows, like this one. I wonder how many children’s deaths it will take before this country enforces simple safety regulations that can save lives…


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in contradictions, Culture, Life, Middle East, Odd or Unusual, Photo, Saudi Arabia, Tradition and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Hangin’ Out

  1. Aloha, Susie

    I once asked a Saudi friend about his countrymen’s apparent disregard for life-and-limb while on the road. He said “Allah karim. God will provide. If it is His will that you should die behind the wheel or as a passenger in an automobile, what good will seat belts and safe-driving practices do you?” As for seemingly underage boys seen driving, I was once purposely sideswiped by a kid driving a van full of cowering adult women. After that incident, I began to notice more male children driving (mostly on city streets; I never saw this on the super highways outside of town). I was told that many wives had lost their husbands in their early fifties or late forties (in the 1980s, the male death rate was particularly high in that age group) and so, by Saudi custom, the oldest male child became the head of the household. Under Saudi traffic law (or at least in common practice), only males were allowed to become licensed drivers, so in order for husbandless families to have at least one driver in the family, minimum driving ages were flexed a bit to allow these younger males to be licensed drivers.

    • That seems to make sense, Michael – but it’s still a very dangerous and idiotic practise, especially when I would feel much safer with a woman behind the wheel than a child who hasn’t even reached double digits yet!

  2. Judy says:

    That is unbelievable! That driver would be pulled over getting a big ticket so fast here.

  3. Dina says:

    That is not a comforting picture, for sure.

    Here, even with everyone buckled up, the road accidents take a great toll. Last week was especially awful, with 20 dead.

  4. Jerry M says:

    It’s bad enough when dogs put their heads out the window.

  5. diane garwood says:

    I too was horrified to see that. My friends didn’t even have seat belts in the back seats of the mini van used to ferry the children to school. Yet, the driver had a seat belt and used it!! The first few days I was there I was scared to death! After that i just figured that Allah didn’t let me go all the way over there to have me die in a car accident and relaxed a little. LOL.

  6. Slamdunk says:

    Wow that would be disturbing to see.

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