MOTHERS AGAINST DESTRUCTIVE DRIVING


Tariq Al-Maeena

 
While lazing about on a chaise lounge by the shores of the Red Sea in a semi-slumber with the gentle waves lapping my feet , I overheard Dana, a family friend express her concerns and worries to my wife over her growing teenage sons.
 
As one of her sons was reaching the age when all boys are eager and ready to slide in behind the wheels of an automotive and let loose on the accelerator, her anxieties on the dangers such young souls face or put themselves through on our roads was very evident.
 
However, being a proactive mom, she was sounding off an idea she had on her mind for some time. “I want to launch an association we can call ‘mothers against destructive driving’. Each one of us has either known of or heard some young man losing his life tragically behind the wheel. Heaven knows how many such heartbreaking funeral wakes I have personally attended.”
 
By now my interest was aroused and I swung over to face her.  My son would soon be 16.  “Tell me Dana, just how do you propose going through with such an idea. Don’t get me wrong. I think it is novel and extremely beneficial, but how exactly are you going to go about it?”
 
“Tariq, you must have heard of the organization MADD (Mothers Against Drunken Driving) in the States that was started by a mother who lost her 13-year-old daughter to a hit-and-run drunken driver in California back in 1980. Over the years and through her efforts she managed to get several bills passed through Congress against such reckless fatalities.”
 
Statistics from 1980 through 2005 show a decline in such road deaths by over 10,000 for which MADD has been credited. Here in this country we are not speaking of drunk drivers but rather destructive ones who have no concept of road safety or defensive driving, and specifically our youth.”
 
“How I propose to begin is to get some mothers together to form a loose organization and begin by passing leaflets on street corners promoting safe driving. Our husbands can be around to prevent unnecessary harassment and I am pretty sure the cops would appreciate our intentions.”
 
“We can also seek out peer groups from the youth who have suffered some disabilities through traffic accidents and have them gather in front of an audience of young drivers. Let our kids see for themselves the effects of such road follies and perhaps the message will sink in deeper. Speed maims, if not kills in many cases, and it is unfortunately for life.”
 
Dana continued, “Taking it beyond that, mothers could petition their students’ schools to hold such forums at least twice a year to expose young drivers to the pitfalls of rash and destructive driving. Mothers could also insist that the schools provide automotive classes where driving safety and traffic laws are taught, understood and encouraged.”
 
“I have contacted a few mothers and they are eager to come on board. This could potentially be a grassroots organization that would be of great benefit to the citizens of tomorrow. A Saudi MADD (Mothers Against Destructive Driving) if you will, one whose only purpose is to ensure the safety and security of our children once they are ready to drive.”
 
I have to applaud Dana for such resolute thought. It is a fact that some of the most horrifying road accidents have involved the young in this country. Adolescent lives snuffed out in a few seconds — wasted for what?
 
The government alone should not be held responsible, as parents have to play a much greater part in ensuring that their loved ones are educated enough and responsible enough to be left alone behind the wheels. Parents must be aware of their children’s driving habits and activities for they could hurt not just themselves but other passengers as well. Parents should also take heed when gifting their young with vehicles with enough muscle to match jet engines.
 
The government can help our youth by strictly enforcing traffic laws and making the issuance of a driving license far more vigorous than maneuvering through cones on a parking lot. Mandatory road testing by qualified inspectors is necessary before driving licenses are authorized.
 
Just dwell on the consequences if this cannot or will not be done.
p.s.
Saudi Arabia Car Crash Accidents.
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia about 3,500 people die and 28,000 are injured in over 153,000 traffic accidents each year. Offical sources attribute the causes of these crashes to aggressive driving, speeding, failure to obey traffic signals, Poor car maintenance, including tires and brakes

 

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