Pet Practice – Seat Belt Campaign Pays Off For Families
Seat belt campaign pays off for families
Arab News, Riyadh, 19 May – The seat belt rule was put into effect last Ramadan throughout Saudi
Arabia. It has already had positive results for drivers in Riyadh and no doubt in other areas of the
Kingdom. People have now become more aware of the dangers of driving without a seat belt and more
willing to obey the seat belt law. They have also started buckling up their children and using proper
5 safety seats for them.
Sarah’s son was only three days old when he was brought home from the hospital in
an infant car seat. ―In the beginning, it was a hassle, but after a few trips in the car,
everybody got used to the arrangement and it became natural,‖ she said.
Hessa recently started wearing her seat belt. ―After my husband and I began to wear
10 our seat belts, we made sure our children wore theirs too,‖ she said. Hessa said her
family felt much safer wearing seat belts. ―You just feel more secure wearing them.‖
Umm Mohammad has three children and she uses seat belts for two of them and puts
the other one in an infant seat. She and her husband also wear belts. ―My husband and I
travel to stores, visit family and run other daily errands more easily now,‖ she said. ―By
15 wearing our seat belts, we are trying to keep our family safe and not risking any fines.‖
Traffic police are positioned at selected intersections in major cities to enforce the law and promote the
use of seat belts. The fine for breaking the seat belt and safety seat laws is currently SR100.
Shops catering to children such as Toys R Us, Mother Care, and Kid Kingdom carry plentiful supplies
of children’s seats in all sizes for all vehicles. One can find these seats in the less expensive shopping
20 markets too. In fact, it’s impossible to walk into a shop for children and not see infant car seats and child
booster seats for sale.
An employee at Toys R Us stated that since the seat belt campaign began, there has been an increase in
sales of infant and child safety seats. ―Nowadays both are becoming more necessary because Saudi law
requires every child who rides in a vehicle to be placed in car seats or use a seat belt,‖ he said.
25 At the same time, there are still many drivers who do not use seat belts.
Naturally, their children do not use them either. We can still see cars with
children jumping up and down restlessly and small children sitting on their
mother’s — or sometimes even their father’s — laps. The employee at Toys
R Us added, ―I don’t know why more people are not using them. It is the law
30 and it is for the safety of the children that they be placed in safety seats or
use seat belts.‖
Speaking at the open traffic awareness campaign last December, Dr. Samir Lingawi, health director in
Jeddah, said, ―During the past 20 years, more than 800,000 accidents have taken place in the Kingdom,
at the rate of 110 accidents a day which caused the deaths of 87,000 people.‖ Considering how fast
35 many vehicles drive and the high number of accidents on our roads, these statistics alone should
encourage parents to make use of these safety devices and obey the laws.
Read the text then answer the following questions.
1. This is from
a history of Saudi Arabia.
a brochure from the Saudi police
a guide to driving in Saudi Arabia.
an article in a Saudi newspaper.
2. When was the seat belt law put into effect?
3. What does the word ―It‖ (line 2) refer to? _______________________________________________
4. What does the word ―them‖ (line 5) refer to? _____________________________________________
5. What is another word for ―infant‖(line 7)? _______________________________________________
6. What does the word ―it‖ (line 8) refer to? _______________________________________________
7. What is another word for ―secure‖ (line 11)? _____________________________________________
8. What is one of the reasons Umm Mohammed’s family all wear seatbelts?
She wants to run daily errands.
She doesn’t want to have to pay money to the police.
She is trying to visit her family.
She has three children.
9. Where do the police check on seat belts? ________________________________________________
10. Where can you buy children’s car seats?
Only in Toys R Us Just in expensive markets All shops for children Not Mothercare
11. Children in cars in Saudi Arabia MUST
drive wearing a seatbelt.
be sitting next to a child seat.
sit on their father’s lap.
wear a seatbelt or be in a child seat.
12. What does ―It‖ (line 29) refer to? _____________________________________________________
13. What does Dr. Samir Lingawi do? ____________________________________________________
14. How many people have been killed in car accidents over the last 20 years? ____________________