A Saudi woman drives her car along a street in Jeddah. Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: Saudi activists have presented a number of proposals and solutions to problems women face as they attempt to obtain driver’s licenses in the kingdom.

They said these issues varied between high fees, shortage of driving schools, and the lengthy period of appointments for obtaining driver’s licenses.

Writer Asma Al Abd Al Latif suggested, during her interview with the Ya Hala talk show on the Rotana Khalijia TV, to efficiently train instructors, to increase the success rate among candidates.

She also stressed the need to revise the driving school fees. “The number of driving schools for women should be increased, especially as this would allow many women to apply for a driver’s license,” she said.

Abdul Rahman Al Ajimi, a consumer rights activist, also suggested to increase driving schools so as to reduce the waiting time to complete the procedures for obtaining the license.

Al Ajimi added: “It is not reasonable that the fees for women’s driving learning reach from 1,200 riyals to 3,000 riyals. In contrast, driving lessons for men is only 500 riyals,” he said.

He added his wife holds a driver’s license from the UAE, owns a car, and drives, and despite that she must wait for two years to be evaluated!

“My daughters have been waiting for the evaluation appointment for 25 months,” he added.

Al Ajimi pointed out that increasing the number of driving schools for women was necessary, and suggested that priority be given to women who already have cars.

Activists also suggested driving schools in Saudi Arabia make use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which is expected to make cars so smart that they’ll be able to drive on their own, while motorists relax in the back seat and watch their favourite TV shows.

They said though we are still some way off from this future, AI and other technologies are already impacting how we drive and how we learn to drive, so driving schools and instructors should leverage them to improve the driving test experience and turn candidates into a better drivers.