Come rain, traffic rules go down the drain


The increased number of traffic violations during the recent rains on Makkah raised many questions among residents of Al-Haj Street in the city, which remained closed for more than three hours.

Salman Hammad, a resident of Al-Haj Street, said that driving in the wrong direction is very dangerous, and could cause lethal traffic accidents. Another citizen, Abdulmohsein Suleiman, said that once the rains begin and streets turn into rivulets, traffic regulations and the rule of law disappear. “It is as if the driver does not have to follow the regulations put in place for his protection and safety,” Suleiman said, adding he was a witness to traffic violations such as driving on the sidewalk, running red lights and driving in the wrong direction without any ethical or moral deterrent, or even a sense of responsibility.

Researcher and social behavioral expert Abdullah Balammash said: “Drivers should be patient and follow the traffic directions and safety measures at all times. They should act in accordance with the directions of the Civil Defense and give heed to its warnings especially on rainy days.”

He said many citizens go out picnicking when the rains stop but find much to their surprise and shock that strong floods are common even in the most unlikely of areas. Wadi Jalil’s neighborhood chief, Abdulmajeed Al-Dhyabi, said such actions increase during the rainfalls. “Some people drive in the wrong direction to avoid flooded streets. This cannot be an excuse to violate traffic regulations”, he added.

The spokesman of the traffic department in Makkah, Capt. Ali Al-Zahrani, said traffic patrols roaming the streets of the city did not spot any violations of driving in the wrong direction and the department did not receive any report of such violation.

He called on drivers to take extra precaution at all times, mainly when driving through extreme weather conditions, saying that there is no excuse for violating traffic regulations.


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