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Saudi women allowed to ride bikes

April 1, 2013 at 12:09 PM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, April 1 (UPI) -- Women in Saudi Arabia are now allowed to ride bikes and buggies thanks to a ruling by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.

The commission lifted the ban to allow women to ride in parks, esplanades and open desert areas, as long as they are modestly dressed and have a male relative nearby in case of accidents, Gulf News reported.

An official with the commission told local Arabic daily Al Youm women should only ride bikes and buggies for recreational purposes and not as a means of transportation.

Traffic officials said they were not consulted by the commission for its ruling.

"Our concern is the positive traffic culture and full compliance with traffic rules and regulations by all drivers and riders," Ali Al Zahrani, the spokesman for the Eastern Province Traffic, said.

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