Cairo: A Saudi court has convicted several men of assaulting two traffic policemen on duty and sentenced them to five years in prison and 1,200 lashes each, the Saudi news portal Sabq reported on Thursday.

The verdicts, which included unspecified fines, were issued by the First Instance Court in Madinah.

The defendants have one month to appeal the rulings, according to the report that did not specify the number of the accused or when the assault took place.

They were charged with beating up the two policemen for pulling them over at a street junction in Madinah.

The injured policemen were admitted in a hospital.

The suspects were later arrested as they tried to flee to the western Saudi city of Jeddah, Sabq reported.

Madinah is the most important Islamic site after Makkah.

In recent years, Saudi authorities have toughened penalties against road offenders in an effort to curb high traffic accident rates.

Road mishaps resulted in 10,961 deaths in Saudi Arabia in 2017, according to official figures. The tragedies were mainly due to reckless driving.

Traffic accidents in the kingdom have dropped by 33 per cent over the past two years, a recent report by the Traffic Safety Committee said.