Saudi Gazette – The Department of Traffic is planning to make drug test mandatory for driver’s license applicants, Al-Watan Arabic daily reported on Wednesday quoting the department’s spokesman Col. Tariq Al-Rubaiaan.

He said the department is joining hands with other agencies to curb drug abuse.

Currently drug test is mandatory for work and marriage contracts.

Drug test will help save lives as no one with negative test results will be given a driver’s license, said Rubaiaan.

He also said the Traffic Department was planning to introduce traffic culture in elementary and intermediate school syllabi.

“This move is aimed at creating awareness and inculcating traffic culture among the members of society,” he said.

More than 1.2 million people die annually on Saudi roads, according to data released last December by Friends of the Red Crescent Committee.

Saudi Arabia records 526,000 accidents annually with up to 17 deaths daily, the data said.

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.

Last month, the Council of Ministers amended a number of Articles in the Traffic Law to enhance road safety.

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