Bad Drivers in Arabia

Apart from the fact that some of the worst driving I have ever come across (and I have travelled to over 50 countries) is in Saudi Arabia and indeed, without even considering the blatant disregard of pedestrians here, it seems that the reason for the bad driving is that the drivers are busy [how shall I put this delicately?] getting down and friendly with their passengers.

The Arab News noted in an article “Parents to Blame for Girls Getting Involved With Family Drivers” that there was an increasing number of young women being wooed and made pregnant by the family driver as well as a number of cases where the child in a marriage turned out to have an Asian father at the same time that the family had an Asian driver.

The paper notes:

Some people blame women for the problem, others blame drivers who are usually low-paid workers living single in the Kingdom for long periods at a time. However, the fault really lies with husbands and parents who put their wives and daughters in situations that are sure to lead to illicit sexual relationships.

Well, OK, that’s one view. I certainly cannot argue with the sentiment about workers “living single in the Kingdom for long periods of time”. That is certainly a cause. It is difficult to live here without one’s partner present and indeed, those regulations are probably one of the greatest reasons for some of the morality problems here.

I think, however, that blaming the husbands and parents for putting “their wives and daughters in situations that are sure to lead to illicit sexual relationships” is missing the point. In many countries there are drivers and there are not that same number of problems with the drivers and their charges becoming amourously involved. Indeed, in those countries girls are exposed to the other sex early in their life and given the skills necessary to deal with these issues. At the same time, they are given good education about their bodies and how the whole “thing” works.

Perhaps what is needed here is not so much a blaming of the husbands and parents, but rather a chance to look at making the system work better for both the foreign workers and the women.

And yes, permitting women to drive would be a big start. Families could then hire female drivers to drive the womenfolk around … oh, wait a minute, then the problem would be drivers getting pregnant.

One thought on “Bad Drivers in Arabia

  1. Tahz 30 November 1999 / 8:00 am

    Very Funny Ian. You do have a sense of humour, a natural sting type. Keep it up.


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