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Evaluation of buses and bus drivers in Al-Madinah Al-Monawarah during hajj Seasons 1429 H ? 2008 G.


Road Traffic Accidents (RTA) considered social and economic problem in many countries of the world whether developed or developing countries for their unfavorable social and economic impact. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.2 million people are killed and 50 million injured in road-traffic crashes worldwide, Every year more than 2 million Muslims, from all over the world, come to Holy City Of Makkah Islamic capital to perform Hajj, so the rate of accidents increase in all the holy places, In 1425 H in DulHijjah 1811 traffic accident was reported which equal to 41.6% out of the whole kingdom accident in the same month, 47.6% injured and 703 were die. Safety seat belt, knowledge about the traffic regulations in Saudi Arabia, knowledge about how to deal in case of emergencies as well as bus standard safety measures consider important measures during driving for both driver and passengers.


This study was carried out among the bus drivers in Al-Madinah Al-Monawarah specifically in the main bus station. A cross-sectional study with interviewed based questionnaire was conducted; a stratified random sampling was applied among the 17 transportation companies (which covered the whole transportation in hajj) proportionate to the total number of each company During the hajj season of 1429H - 2008G.


The study sample was 442 bus drivers, average age of the sample was 42 years (standard deviation ± 7.1 years), The sample included 10 nationalities, most of them were Egyptian (233; 52.7%), followed by Syrian(168;38%). 5.7% were illiterate, while 37.3% completed the intermediate level and they were the majority, Most of the participants originally drivers (392; 88.7%) with no other occupation, about 72% underwent amphetamine test applied by ministry of health, 32% of them did not received their result, about eleven percent of the drivers had been sick with acute symptoms, majority of them were suffering of acute respiratory tract infection (90.2%), 4.3% had chronic illnesses, about 88% of the drivers had been vaccinated against meningitis, while 12% were not vaccinatedWe found that 8.4% were wearing the face mask on regular basis, the entire sample had driver's license, and had permission to participate in the Hajj, 50.7% were exceeding the speed limit, as well as 38.9% sometimes were stopping at the yellow traffic signal lights, there were no assistant drivers except in one company, 82.8% of the drivers were having the ability to deal with first aid in case of any a passenger needed it, 44.6% did not know the emergency phone numbers, 44.3% of the bus drivers knew the phone number of Red Crescent, 96.6% saw the importance of fastening the seat belt, while 85.5% were wearing the safety belt, we found that the most common cause of traffic accidents according to driver's opinion is the carelessness of driver (30.3%), we can reduce traffic accidents according to majority of their opinion by educating of the drivers (47.0), 96.6% of buses had a safety belt, only 5.5% of the passengers were fastening the seat belt, 6.6% of drivers were allowing smoking inside the buses. An emergency exits, ventilation system both first aid bag and fire extinguisher were available in most of the buses, Regarding the sleeping hours of drivers we found that 50.2% of them were sleeping less than 8 hours a day and the working hours were more than 12 hours for 21%.of the driver, According to driver's opinion, the percentage of stimulant users were 41.9% , 52.5% were smokers and 75.1% were satisfied with their job.


All drivers had driving licenses and permission to participated in hajj season 1429H, Almost all of them were non Saudis as well as they did not know the traffic regulations in Saudi Arabia nor ever encountered an emergency situation like injuries or accidents, They had no clear idea about the hajj plan, bus safety measures were available in most of the buses. Health education regarding the importance of the MOH stimulant test and traffic educational programs must be initiated.