Saudi Aramco Chair for Traffic Safety Announced

Saudi Aramco and University of Dammam officials came together Dec. 29 for a ceremony to recognize the establishment of the 'Saudi Aramco Chair for Traffic Safety' at Dammam University.

The chair, which springs from the company's efforts in the Signature Traffic Safety Program, would support academic programs and scientific research in the field of traffic safety, provide for the use of modern technology in the development of traffic systems, and support implementation of programs to raise community awareness of the importance of traffic safety.

In addition, the chair will expedite implementation of training programs and specialized seminars on traffic safety, and it will provide for world-class development programs in the fields of highway safety engineering, driver behavior, injury reduction and first aid programs on the roads.

The ceremony was attended by Khalid A. Al-Falih, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, HE Dr. Abdullah M. Rubaish, rector of the University of Dammam, and a number of members of Saudi Aramco and faculty at the University of Dammam.

Al-Falih noted that the ambitious program attempts to develop a set of scientific and practical solutions to address the major challenge of the epidemic of traffic accidents plaguing the Kingdom and the remarkable economic, psychological and societal damage they bring to the country and its residents.

'The Saudi Aramco Traffic Safety Chair at the University of Dammam is one of the most significant academic chairs we will ever sponsor from a social perspective,' Al-Falih said during the ceremony. 'The urgency and complexity of traffic safety issues we face require Saudi Aramco and the University of Dammam to affect behavioral and social change in fundamental ways at institutional and individual levels.'

Al-Falih added that the chair will boost efforts to work on the famous 'four E's of traffic safety' — engineering, education, enforcement and emergency response — to develop comprehensive solutions that achieve sustained improvements.

For his part, Al-Rubaish emphasized that the creation of the chair is an important part of the university's mission to bring significant benefits to the community. He noted that the cooperation between the company and Dammam University will help reduce a drain on manpower and economic resources and will help lead to meaningful and sustainable solutions to difficult problems.

Saudi Aramco and the University of Dammam have previously carried out joint initiatives in cooperation with the Committee on Traffic Safety in the Eastern Province, including the establishment of the Saudi Society for Traffic Safety, whose goal is to strengthen scientific research, and the organization of the first forum for traffic safety last year. A second forum on traffic safety is being planned for November 2013.

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