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Saudis call for more stringent action against drift drivers

Horror and outrage after video shows man hanging out of car driven on two wheels thrown onto the asphalt

Manama: Saudi social media users have voiced strong concerns about car drifters on highways and called for intensified traffic patrols and more severe legal action to deter dangerous driving.

The calls were issued following the posting on social media of a nine-second footage showing a young man fall on the highway while the vehicle he was riding cruised on only two wheels.

The body of the man who was hanging out the elevated side of the car was thrown onto the asphalt when the driver re-established the car on its four wheels.

Reports did not mention what happened to the passenger following the fall, but the horrifying scene went viral on the internet and sparked intense reactions against drifting and drift drivers.

“I hope that the drifter and all his passengers are caught and sent to jail for their terrible behaviour,” Mishal said. “This is a total failure of shouldering responsibilities and of living up to the minimum level of civism.”

Al Shaer said that although the authorities are taking strong action, some drifters did not seem to care.

“Despite all the action taken by the Interior Ministry against drifting, some people insist on abusing roads. There are no easy solutions for these people who do not seem to care about their own lives.”

Al Hashemi, another user, said that there should be no mercy as drifters should be treated legally as a source of dangers and threats.

“They are abusing highways and roads and they are putting lives at risk,” he said.

Rose said that reasonable attitudes were becoming a rare trait among young idle people.

“The new generation tends to favour drifting and taking high and absolutely not necessary risks and they have to be confronted on this. It has become quite rare to find a young man who is calm, coy and composed,” she said.

Drifting, one of the major phenomena attracting young Saudi men, is deeply resented by most components of the society.

In August last year, the Saudi cabinet approved proposals to increase traffic fines and prison terms for violators.

Under the new rules, first-time drifters will have to pay 20,000 riyals and will be referred to a court. Their vehicle will be impounded for 15 days.

However, a repeat offender will have to pay 40,000 riyals and referred to the court while the vehicle is impounded for one month.

A third-time drifter will pay 60,000 riyals and will have his vehicle confiscated. The violator could be forced to pay a fine if he uses a rented or stolen car.

Prior to the announcement of the new set of fines, violators paid 1,000 riyals for a first violation, 1,500 riyals for a second violation and 2,000 riyals for the third violation.