Saturday, March 6, 2010

child drivers

One peculiarity of Riyadh is that there seems to be no minimum age where Saudis deem it acceptable for one to begin driving. As such it's not unusual to see young boys behind the drivers seat in a vehicle - it's a daily occurrance to see them on the road. And let me stress that the correct label to apply is indeed "boys" as it is questionable as to whether even half of them have passed puberty yet. This whole post was prompted by a picture I took of a boy in the car next to us at a traffic light (decided not to post it). He had no seatbelt, and his little brother was sitting next to him in the passenger's seat, also with no seatbelt, and barely able to see over the dashboard. Oh yeah, and big brother also had a lollipop sticking out of his mouth. Nice touch.

Needless to say, I cannot fathom what twist of logic brings a society to the conclusion that a Y chromosome makes little boys more fit to drive than me. But here we are. >blah blah blah angry angry arghh!! blah blah blah<

Blatant sexism aside, what of the question of what age a person is deemed old enough - mature enough - to drive?? Is 16 a logical and fair number, or is it arbitrary? A lot of countries have a minimum age of 18. But I understand in parts of the U.S. that have a lot of farmland, some people have to learn how to drive in their early teens out of practicality. Here, where only men can drive, the policy cuts into the number of drivers in a household; does it necessitate that men learn at a younger age in order to keep everything running?

You know, I think I can see people debating age, but I can't see them debating seatbelts. Seatbelts won this debate a long time ago. Back to that picture, it just totaly riles me up for a mulititude of reasons. And every time I look at it I just want to rip that lollipop out of that boy's mouth and knock it on his skull till he put his seatbelt on! I should probably just delete it...

4 comments:

Tara Umm Omar said...

What about when a grown man puts his child in his lap and drives on the HIGHWAY of all places? I only heard about this happening and this week saw it my own eyes!

Pancake said...

You are not allowed to drive?? *faints*

Orchidthief said...

Tara, what can I say - it's so disappointing. I remember looking up the numbers once and Riyadh's accident rate is I think at least triple Toronto's rate. It's a shame safety laws aren't enforced on the roads here.

And Pancake, I faint everyday when i think about it ha ha

Tara Umm Omar said...

Orchidthief- And its frightening...Saudi Arabia has one of the highest accident rates in the world and Riyadh tops the list out of all its cities.