At least 67 women in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province have passed their driving test and now have licences to take their cars on the road. Just under 13,000 women have applied for driving lessons with Sharq Driving School, which is supervised by Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University; they are taught by a team of 45 female instructors.
The school operates in partnership with the Traffic Department in the Eastern Province as well as Saudi Aramco Company. The driving test includes both theory and practical elements. Aside from the usual lessons in driving skills and what might be called the highway code – including road signs – learner drivers are taught basic vehicle maintenance skills.
Driving lessons take place on a specially-constructed road layout away from public highways, as well as in classrooms and driving simulators. A computer lab is available for learner drivers to prepare for the theoretical test. Insurance companies are also on hand to brief the learners about car insurance.
Learner drivers must be 18 years or older to obtain a provisional licence. They are taught within a programme which aims for the highest international standards to promote safe driving habits and prevent accidents.