RIYADH, Saudi Arabia--Saudi King Abddullah bin Abdul-Aziz decided that a sentence of 10 lashes for a woman caught driving was too severe, according to a tweet from a Saudi princess.
The move is seen as the latest example of an Americanization of Saudi Arabia as women will be allowed for the first time to vote in national elections.
Although human rights activities are lauding the decision, the King stresses that this decision was not a sign that Saudi women had free reign on its streets.
The princess alluded to the King's desire to adopt a few traffic laws that are still found on American traffic books.
In Mississippi, for example, it's still illegal for women to operate a vehicle unless a man is standing in front of the car with directional flags. In California, woman may not drive while wearing a housecoat.
Although it's not technically illegal for Saudi women to drive, religious authorities forbid it.
Harfold State College religion instructor, Bobby Schildt (free online ordination) finds a parallel with American religious instruction. "Saudi religious leaders frown on woman driving much like we frown on premarital sex.
"But let's face it: it's fun, young people are doing it all the time, and if you don't drink a lot when you do it, you're less likely to get somebody in trouble."