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Improving the Safety of Roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The following press release is a translation of a statement issued by the Ministry of Transport of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 22 May, 2017.

For the first time in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and by using international standards…Improving the Safety of Roads will lead to saving 200 Thousand Casualties over the next 20 Years

Riyadh– May 22, 2017 – The Ministry of Transport in Saudi Arabia and in collaboration with the World Bank Group, has launched a new study that concluded that the Kingdom could save up to 200,000 lives and serious injuries in the next 20 years by improving the safety of its roads infrastructure.

This announcement was made during the international road assessment workshop that was opened by His Excellency Deputy Minister of Transport Eng. Saad Alkhalb on Monday May 22, 2017 in Riyadh. This study marks the first time Saudi Arabia has applied the road safety assessment methodology of the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) on a sample of 1,500 kilometers of roads managed by the Ministry of Transport.

His Excellency Deputy Minister Alkhalb mentioned in his statement that this study recommends a scientific approach and an optimal safer road investment plan that would cost about 350 million SAR and would reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries by 25% on the study roads.

His Excellency added that improving road safety is a national priority for Saudi Arabia as stated in the first strategic objective under the National Transformation Program for 2020 that allocated a budget of 3 billion SAR to improve road safety in the Kingdom.

“By assessing the safety of the road network and implementing safer road investment plans, this will improve long sections of Saudi Arabia’s roads and not just spots here and there,” mentioned Said Dahdah, Senior Transport Specialist at the World Bank. Dahdah added that investing 3.5 billion SAR over the next 3 years to increase the safety of the 20% of roads where most fatalities and serious injuries occur, will lead to saving hundreds of thousands of lives and serious injuries in the years to come. This project could be the largest ever health saving program in the Kingdom, which will have huge socio-economic benefits for the society in line with Vision 2030 which calls for enhancing the standards of living and livability in Saudi cities.

iRAP is a registered charity in the United Kingdom dedicated to preventing more than 3,500 road deaths that occur every day worldwide. iRAP provides tools and training to help governments, funding agencies, research institutes, automobile associations and other non-government organizations in more than 70 countries make roads safe (www.irap.org).

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