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Seven people, including six members of a family, were killed in a road accident in Riyadh in the early hours on Wednesday, Saudi media reported. Police are investigating the accident which occurred between two vehicles on the Al Ha’ir – Al Hariq road, killing a Saudi man and five members of his family, while a young man died in the other car. All of them were from Al Hariq, a small town located 308km south of Riyadh.
The cause of the accident has yet to be identified. Sabq reported the Al Ha’ir – Al Hariq road is still under construction and is currently just a single lane. Residents of the town are calling on the Saudi Ministry of Transport to set up two lanes and implement the latest engineering studies and approved specifications to make it safer. Data from Friends of the Red Crescent Committee citied Saudi Arabia recording 526,000 accidents annually with up to 17 deaths daily, according to the committee’s head Ahmad Al Shaikha. “A total of SR21 billion is spent annually on road accidents. Saudi Arabia is ranked 23rd on the list of countries witnessing the highest death rates in road accidents in the world. It is second among Arab countries in terms of road deaths,” said Al Shaikha.
Al Shaikha said that by raising awareness they hope to decrease the rate of injuries and deaths by 15 per cent. “The road mapping needs to be improved and we need to join forces to provide safety for motorists, passengers and pedestrians,” added Al Shaikha.