Manama: A Saudi camel owner is attaching luminous straps around the necks and legs of his animals in a bid to tackle accidents involving his animals.
Nashi Al Mehmadi said his move is aimed at enhancing safety on highways and limiting the number of accidents involving vehicles and camels, Saudi daily Al Riyadh reported on Sunday.
The straps serve as a warning from faraway to drivers on unlit highways or roads and give them a chance to avoid the often deadly collision with the large animals.
The decision by Al Mehmadi who lives in the Madinah Province was promptly applauded by social media users who called for emulation of his example amid concerns about stray camels venturing onto highways that did not have protective fences.
Saudi legal experts have been calling for enacting a law that would penalise the owners of camels that caused road accidents amid concerns about their growing threats.
In March, five members of a family — a mother, a baby and her three other children — were killed in a freak road accident when their car hit a stray camel on a highway in western Saudi Arabia.
Five other members of the family survived the accident, but were injured and taken to hospital for treatment.
“The operations room of the Red Crescent received a call about an accident in which a vehicle collided with a stray camel, 15 kilometres away from the area of Ranya,” Shadi Al Thubaiti, the spokesperson for the Red Crescent in Taif, said.
“Four rescue teams from the Red Crescent and two from the health ministry rushed to the area and discovered that 10 people were involved in the accident. Three children, a woman and her baby were dead, another woman and her baby were slightly injured and two men had cardiac problems. The tenth is a child.”
In July last year, a young man was killed and another seriously injured when their vehicle hit a stray camel late at night.
The accident occurred on an unlit road in the Tabuk Region in northwestern Saudi Arabia.
“The two cases were referred to King Fahd Hospital in Tabuk,” Khalid Al Enezi, the spokesperson for the Red Crescent in the region, said. “One young man died and another is still in hospital.”
The area has seen a resurgence of accidents related to stray camels which are considered a grave menace, particularly at night.
Earlier, a girl in her 20s was killed and several other passengers were injured when their car was hit by a stray camel on the same road.
Residents called for erecting fences to keep the animals away from the road, particularly at night.
A large number of students and teachers as well as employees use the busy road to go to school and work, they said.
The residents said that camel owners should be more careful with their animals and should ensure they do not constitute a menace to road users.
“The least they can do is to attach luminous straps on their backs so that they can be seen from far and avoided in case they come to the road,” one resident said. “This is highly necessary because camels prefer to move at night and their owners should appreciate the extent of their danger on unlit roads.”
In 2013, four people were killed and three seriously injured when their vehicle hit a stray camel.
The victims were members of the same family and were driving on an unlit road near the Saudi capital Riyadh.