Slogans on cars banned
The Jeddah traffic department says it will fine drivers SR300 for writing their phone numbers, poetry or personal messages on their cars.
Zaid Al-Hamzi, spokesman of the department, said that it is against the law for motorists to have any form of writing on their cars. Motorists would be fined SR300 and have to remove the messages, he said.
He hoped that “such uncivilized behavior” disappears permanently from the Kingdom’s streets. Most of the culprits are teenagers, young men, and those driving pickup and large trucks, he said.
Many drivers in the city have various messages on their cars, including humorous ones. Some have their telephone numbers, or messages of support for their favorite sports club.
Arab News saw one truck driver with a bumper sticker saying: “Bump me with the words I love you and repairs will be at my expense.”
A driver in an old car expressed his desire for a new one: “The dream is Lexus but this is the reality.”
Another motorist expressed his love and affection for his mother by writing: “In this world I love only three people: Mom, Mama and My Mother.”
Another driver wrote: “Study first and you’ll become a first-rate soldier.”
Others were more abrasive. “Those who don’t like the way I drive can go to hell.”
Abdulaziz Al-Zahrani, an expert at the Jeddah education department, said some of the messages show a person’s poor upbringing and lack of manners.
Tareq Abdullah, an employee at a private company in Jeddah, said the messages appear to express the depression being experienced by some young people. “They want to express their feelings, and to show off with negative behavior and inappropriate phrases.”
Musfer Al-Mulais, a psychiatric and family health consultant and lecturer at the Arab University in Jeddah, said young people want to express themselves. “Some consider this a matter of personal freedom that no one should interfere with, that’s why it is so widespread; even if it shows that the person has bad manners. However, it is still a traffic violation.”
Al-Mulais said some of the messages reflect the daily reality of people. “There are some phrases that are explicitly about everyday events, such as when our national football team wins a game, or a national social event takes place.”
He said some people have serious psychological issues so they use their vehicles to express their emotions in an aggressive manner.
“At all levels we should help teenagers and young people solve their problems with psychiatric therapy. This would help them live more stable and secure lives,” he said.
He said some people consider their vehicles to be more important than family members because they make a living from them, like drivers of taxis and trucks.