Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in Saudi Arabia, you will encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Saudi Arabia is provided for general reference only, and may not necessarily apply to all locations and circumstances.
Saudi Arabia recently activated an automatic traffic control and management system called “Saher” to improve traffic safety in major cities. The system is a network of digital cameras linked to the National Information Center of the Ministry of Interior to monitor traffic accidents and violations.
Residents should update their personal details through one of the methods available here to receive SMS notifications once a traffic ticket is issued. Delay in payment of any ticket might result in doubling of the ticket amount.Travelers will need to pay any fines issued through this system before leaving the country; this may be possible at the airport but only during regular Saudi office hours.
Temporary male visitors may drive on their U.S. driver's license. Foreign men employed in Saudi Arabia must obtain a local driver's license from the Department of Traffic Police. Women are not allowed to drive or ride bicycles on public roads. Article no. 42/3 of the Saudi Traffic Law states that a valid foreign or international driver’s license can be used for either a year or until the expiration date, whichever is closer.
According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2009 Global Status Report on Road Safety, Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest traffic accident rates. Driving habits are generally poor, and accidents involving vehicles driven by minors are not uncommon. 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. U.S. citizens involved in a serious accident resulting in injury or death should immediately contact their sponsors and the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate.
You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.