Saudi Gazette editorializes on the needless and senseless deaths that occur in Saudi Arabia, brought on by people’s thoughtless behavior, often illegal.

It states that the tanker truck explosion resulted from improper conduct by the driver (I’ve not seen a cause cited, however). It goes on to the tragic wedding celebration where a joyful participant fired off rounds from his gun — a traditional behavior, though an illegal one — that cut a power line. The power line fell on a structure, electrifying its door frame. Those who touched it were electrocuted. Those inside the party room panicked and many were crushed in the attempt to escape.

But scores die on Saudi Arabia’s roads daily, the editorial also notes. All of these come from human error. While that will always be with us, we should at least make an attempt to minimize it, whether through our own behavior or through laws that truly punish the offenders strongly enough to change their behaviors.

Stupidity and selfishness

November:02:2012 - 09:06 | Comments & Trackbacks (5) | Permalink
5 Responses to “Human Nature; Human Stupidity”
  1. 1
    G Jeff Said:
    November:02:2012 - 10:15 

    My 2 cents on this issue. I just came back from Cairo where the traffic is 3 times as bad and the laws..wait what laws? Are enforced in an even poorer fashion. Cairo was crazy, but the 5 days I was there I never saw one accident. I see 3 on my way to work here and this is my opinion why.

    Speed: The car can go 200 kph, but it doesn’t need too!

    No Seat-belts and No Car Seats: With no disrespect meant, the In’shAllah culture here leaves people free to ignore the most basic of preventative measures. In my humble opinion this is not trusting in God, this is just recklessness and lack of understanding.

    The youth: The teenagers here have no outlets. No dating, no dancing, no drinking. They can’t even go bowling with their friends. They take to the streets in order to prove their prowess instead.

    All of these things combine to make a deadly combination that in my work I deal with daily. A lot more than just some enforcement will have to change before this improves.

    A friend of mine made the statement that “they came off the horse and camel to quickly”. At first I thought, what a horribly racist thing to say, but he does actually bring up a good point. How many Saudi’s were driving in the 1970′s? 1960′s? 1950′s? Less than 50 years ago this was a primarily poor, Bedouin culture. They never built a car or a road, they bought them with oil money. Driving isn’t something that started with a model T and has been passed down through the generations. For some of my students, driving here began with a Mercedes and 300+ horsepower when they were kids. I’m not saying it is definitely the cause and it is a little on the racial profiling side to say the least, but it is something to consider. The country was poor and then it was rich in a very short period of time.

  2. 2
    G Jeff Said:
    November:02:2012 - 10:28 

    Oh and just a little background: I learned to drive in the Mountains of California (Twain Hart) when I was 13. I was taught just in case my father cut his leg off with a chainsaw, or my mother was hurt and I had to drive one of them out. I was also taught how to do basic first aid, how to read a map/use a compass and how to use a CB radio. I was prepared for the unthinkable by my parents. City kids in any culture don’t get this anymore. Not here, not in the US. they get money and trade it for “stuff”. Then they go out and some of them do stupid things with that “stuff”. Saudi needs to stop giving its children the wealth, and start making them work for it and prepare for the inevitable day when the oil is gone.

  3. 3
    John Burgess Said:
    November:02:2012 - 11:00 

    @G Jett: Another missing factor for many Saudi drivers is that they never got a chance to ride as passengers in cars driven by good drivers. I learned an awful lot about road safety long before I ever got behind the wheel by listening to my parents as they drove. They’d certainly comment on the bad habits of other drivers! They were also very good about explaining what they were doing and why as they drove. Luckily for me, my childhood involved lots of long highway trips, under many different conditions. I was taught to drive by two uncles who drove professionally. One was a bus driver, the other, a state policeman.

  4. 4
    G Jeff Said:
    November:03:2012 - 08:25 

    Very true John, very true. As a paramedic/firefighter one of my foremost responsibilities was driving. When my kids grew up and learned to drive they got the same from me that you got from your family. I also took them through driving courses at work. Both my son and daughter can drive on snow and ice like the car had ski’s. I’ve seen a huge difference between them and their friends.

  5. 5
    John Burgess Said:
    November:03:2012 - 09:07 

    @G Jeff: In addition to subliminally learning about what constitutes good driving, my vocabulary also received some remarkable additions… even from Mom!

    My driving teachers told me that any idiot could drive on sunny, dry roads. They made sure that I could drive in absolutely crappy conditions… fog, driving rain, black ice. They basically wouldn’t take me out on the road in good weather.

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