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Saudi Arabia Embraces Life Saving Vision Zero

The Vision Zero Advocate Institute was recently featured at the Fourth Annual Traffic Safety Forum and Exhibition in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. VZAI Founder, and ATS Traffic CEO, Jeff Calibaba traveled to Saudi Arabia to deliver a keynote to world leaders. We’ve received his dispatch from the road, and shared some photos from his travels. This is an excellent example of how Vision Zero is truly spanning the world.

This past summer, I was invited to attend and present at the Fourth Annual Traffic Safety Forum and Exhibition in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, hosted in December 2017. With an attendance of nearly 1,000 traffic safety professionals, this was an excellent opportunity for relationship development and increased exposure for the Vision Zero Advocate Institute.

While attending the Future of Transportation Conference this past July in Cologne, Germany, I was approached by a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family, who requested my attendance at an upcoming conference- offering the Vision Zero Advocate Institute a spot on their keynote lineup.

Traffic Safety Challenges

Saudi Arabia has an almost identical population size as Canada (approx. 33 million), yet they have nearly 5 times the number of traffic fatalities per year. As alcohol is banned throughout the country, these statistics left me baffled. Some of the major factors influencing traffic safety in Saudi Arabia include lack of education, poor infrastructure and low penalties for driving infractions causing more speeding.

Saudi Arabia Ready for Change

The timing of the conference was pivotal: Saudi Arabia has just passed legislation that introduces female drivers to the road for the first time ever, and the country is also in the midst of their own Vision 2020 plan, in which transportation is one of many strategies for national improvement.

This international event marks a trend of global recognition for the Vision Zero Advocate Institute, and I am optimistic about the opportunities that resulted from this trip. I believe attending this conference, along with several other international events over the past year, highlights increased interest in Vision Zero, as well as its global potential for application.