Dear American Citizen Community, As a reminder, Visa Pages Inserts will no longer be available after December 31. Please do not wait until the last minute if you are planning on seeking this service. The Consulate is closed on December 31 in observance of the New Year’s holiday. The last guaranteed appointment date for additional visa pages is December 29 (for passport retrieval on December 30). Please plan accordingly if you would like to have more visa pages inserted into your current passport. Over one million people are killed in road accidents worldwide every year. Hundreds of U.S. citizens are among those killed and injured in road accidents. Many of these victims are bystanders or pedestrians. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2013 Global Status Report on Road Safety, Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest traffic accident and death rates. No matter where you are in the world, wearing a seat belt is critical. Please protect yourself and buckle-up. You may also want to consider following the guidance below to ensure you’re ready for the road.
- Make sure your vehicle is fit for the road. Check fuel levels, tires, oil and water levels before driving
- Always carry your driver’s license, passport, vehicle insurance details and vehicle registration. Carry sufficient cash to purchase fuel and visas!
- Check to make sure, all the vehicle documentation is valid and it covers “you” before using the vehicle!
- Always know your routes, and the general area of where your journey will take you.
- Inform someone of your travel plans.
- Do not to get in to a road rage situation with a Saudi Driver, always give way!
- Drive within the law. (Based on US Traffic Law) Speed limits - 45kph (30mph) in urban areas, and 80 to 120kph (50 to 70mph) on motorways.
- Carry an emergency kit in your car this should include a spare tire, first aid kit, water, fire extinguisher and warning triangle.
In Saudi Arabia, driving habits are generally poor, and accidents involving vehicles driven by minor children are not uncommon. There is little regard for lane markings, and the right of way is often disregarded. The main causes for accidents are speeding, unauthorized passing, and running red lights. In the event of a traffic accident resulting in personal injury, everyone involved (if not seriously injured) may be taken to the local police station. Drivers are likely to be held for several days until responsibility is determined and any reparations paid. In many cases, all drivers involved in an accident are held in custody regardless of fault. If U.S. citizens are involved in an accident, especially one resulting in injury or death, they should immediately contact their sponsors and are free to contact the U.S. Consulate as well. Please consider following advice below if you are involved in an accident. At the scene of the accident, look after your own safety first. Be aware of other traffic. If you that your physical safety is in jeopardy, you may want to consider driving to the nearest police station to report the accident and the concerns for your safety.
- Do not move your vehicle unless it is blocking traffic or causing serious danger to other passengers.
- Call the emergency contact provided by your sponsor.
- Never admit liability for an accident, even if you know you are at fault!
- If you have a camera or camera phone take pictures of the vehicles. Do not take pictures of yourself or other passengers at the scene of an accident. Do not attempt to take photographs when the police are present, or in the locality of check points, public buildings and government installations.
- Get what details you can from the other driver, including the make, model and color of the other vehicle or vehicles involved.
- Note how many passengers were traveling in the other vehicle or vehicles involved. Note injuries or specific damage to the vehicles.
- If the police arrive and insist on taking you to a police station, ask for the name and location of the police station. Immediately call your sponsor with this information. Do not sign any documentation without advice.
- Do not make any monetary payments to any party without seeking advice first. If a small payment is made at the accident, record the transaction if possible.
Please refer to the Department of State’s Road Safety page for more information on how to stay safe. We’ve attached an accident report form and the accident management guidance to assist you in the event you are involved in an accident. Be safe!