On The Job


There are many of these Traffic Police Umbrellas strategically placed at busy intersections about the city of Jeddah to provide protection and shade from the blazing hot sun. Most often, there is no one in position at these umbrellas keeping an eye on the traffic flow. And it’s also not very often that I have witnessed any traffic stops for driving infractions – however I’ve seen plenty of driving infractions! As most of you already know (because I have harped on it frequently enough) is that only men are allowed to drive here in Saudi Arabia, although there has been much talk about the possibility of women driving here soon. But that is probably all it is – just talk. Because women cannot drive here, extra pressure is placed on the men of the family if they are responsible for driving the women around. Some families can afford to hire a full-time driver, who usually comes from another country and is generally provided with room and board in addition to his salary. Other women rely on taxicabs for their transportation needs, and many of the taxi drivers are also foreign nationals. From what I have heard, the taxicab companies have applied lots of pressure to keep things the way they are – because if women were allowed to drive, there wouldn’t be the need for so many taxis or taxi drivers in this country. As you can imagine, taxis do a considerable amount of business here.

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About SusieOfArabia

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

4 Responses to On The Job

  1. Valerie says:

    A beautiful sunset photo. Have a great weekend. Valerie

  2. jveeds says:

    Yknow, I’ve been wondering what those Traffic Police umbrellas are for! Of course you realize Susie that women now drive in Riyadh. I’m surprisedj they still don’t let women drive in jeddah!

    Speaking of traffic police, the cabbies now all insist that you wear a seat belt because they are subject to fines of 100-150 SR if they get caught…and even higher for speeding. Presumably cutting in and out of traffic, running down pedestrians, parking willy nilly and squeezing someone out of a lane are still OK though.

    Many of the intersections now have a patrol car. I don’t think they’re positioned there to do any enforcement but more as a show of force.

  3. Chiara says:

    Love the umbrellas. Really nice capture.

    Saudize the cab companies and all drivers. Allow all-female companies with female drivers–ie Saudi women drivers, with uniforms like the Libyan military women wear: regulation headscarf and regulation cap.

    I’m in a very solution focused mood this morning! šŸ™‚

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