HSE Road Safety update: A Slower Speed is a Safer Speed


Our roads are one of the most common things we share in KAUST. Our actions on these roads, including adherence to speed limits, reflect on our overall safety culture in Keeping KAUST Safe. We need your help to reduce speeds in KAUST, especially the very high rates of speed by some drivers.

People who speed at high rates endanger their own lives and the lives of others. Do not speed in KAUST”

A road safety culture

Literary definitions of ‘safety culture’, reinforced by data research emphasize the essential role road users play in creating a ‘road safety culture’. It is us, the road users who continuously create the norms for road safety behavior. We do this through personal initiatives, denouncing unsafe actions, and challenging unsafe acts, such as speeding in our community.

Many of KAUST’s roads have digital speed signs. They not only show a driver’s speed, but also record it. Information analyzed from these signs informs the Health Safety & Environment (HSE) team of speed related issues or actions. Collected data from KAUST electronic speed-detection devices indicates some dangerous driving. As an example, data collected at two KAUST locations showed that while most users adhered to posted speed limits, many did not and some drove at very high rates of speed.

Understanding the community

Speeds detected at two KAUST locations (March, June 2022)
LocationPedestrian Crossing –
King Abdullah Blvd
Bayt Al Hikmah Boulevard
towards the Island
No. of vehicles70,18757,531
No. of speeding vehicles26,49610,356
Max allowable speed40km/h40km/h
Max speed recorded112km/h122km/h

The reported maximum speeds show a disconnect of consideration and understanding of the significant risks associated with speeding, which include:

  • less time available for corrective actions to avoid a crash
  • less control over the vehicle
  • an increase in the likelihood and severity of a crash
  • extending the distance a vehicle travels while a driver reacts to a dangerous situation.

Shared commitment

High-speed behavior on KAUST roads diminishes our common goal of a good road safety culture. All KAUST road users are required to practice behaviors that foster this safety culture including driving within speed limits and responding to unfavorable road, weather and traffic conditions by reducing speed.

Stay within the limit

A slower speed is a safer speed. The posted speed limit is not the target speed, but rather the highest speed allowed on that stretch of road.  In addition to staying below the limit, slow down and reduce your speed:

  • when approaching a pedestrian crossing – remain extra vigilant at night
  • in areas where there are more pedestrians, especially with small children, roadside workers and animals
  • in the vicinity of schools – remain cautious and observant especially during school drop-off and pick-up times
  • behind cyclists and e-scooters – these typically do not have turn signals or brake lights
  • approaching, entering and exiting car parking areas

For questions or comments, please contact Health, Safety & Environment hse@kaust.edu.sa