Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A logical plan...but when?

RTA studies have shown that the sudden breakdown of a vehicle or a minor accident that actually needs only five minutes to clear the vehicle from the spot currently needs at least 40 minutes to remove the vehicle and resume normal traffic movement.

I think those of us who've been stuck in jams might think it takes a lot more than 40 minutes to resume normal traffic movement.

However, the RTA has come up with a logical, and long overdue, plan. Private companies with towing vehicles stationed at various sites across Dubai will be allowed to clear vehicles involved in minor accidents, clearing the roads much more quickly.

But.

The plan is only in the 'consideration' stages so we'll have to put up for a while yet with the unnecessary chaos that every accident causes.

The story doesn't say but I wonder if it will mean the stupidity of having to have a police report for even the most minor of accidents will disappear. What a nonsense that is, police time being wasted having to attend scenes of minor bumps, when no-one is injured, and writing a report just to satisfy the insurance companies.

By the way, the report gives figures that show the extent of our problems with driving standards. The number of registered vehicles in Dubai is 780,000. The number of accidents last year was 243,386. One in three vehicles is involved in an accident. An accident every two minutes. Amazing figures.

Gulf News report is here.

6 comments:

i*maginate said...

A few things don't make sense to me, could I have your insight on these please?

a) If it's a "minor" accident, why does a towing company have to arrive on the scene when the cars can move themselves away?

b)If towing companies are contracted by the RTA, what is the connection with the police not having to arrive anymore?

c)Why cannot there be a new rule that all cars involved in minor car addicents should come directly to the nearest station to collect a report

d)How does the current system work in which a car is involved in a minor accident? What happens in reality, and what do you think the best solution is?

Adeel said...

amazing stats these re accidents in dubai. i just came back from a vacation in dubai, i know it was bad, but this bad?

most of the wild driving i saw is done by either arabs or south asians.

i have had a couple school and college friends that have tragically passed away in car crashes. its a heart breaking way to lose a life in such a manner but people dont learn!

Adeel said...

amazing stats these re accidents in dubai. i just came back from a vacation in dubai, i know it was bad, but this bad?

most of the wild driving i saw is done by either arabs or south asians.

i have had a couple school and college friends that have tragically passed away in car crashes. its a heart breaking way to lose a life in such a manner but people dont learn!

Seabee said...

i*maginate
a) I assume they mean by 'minor accident' one where people are not hurt.
b) The story doesn't mention the police not having to be involved, I'm just hoping that the plan does mean a change to the rule. if the vehicles can be towed away, maybe that means the police don't have to be involved.
c)& d) The police should not have to be involved unless people are hurt. We should work the way other countries do and simply take each others details, get witness contact details then make the appropriate insurance claim.
What actually happens is that the drivers involved in a minor accident stand around for anything up to hours waiting for the police to arrive so that a report can be written. This is simply for the insurance companies because they won't pay for damage repair unless there is a police report. In most cases the drivers don't move the vehicles out of the road, so we get the usual traffic jams caused by that and by the brainless morons who slow down or stop to look.

Keefieboy said...

Dubai Police have been going on about the nonsense of them having to attend and report on very single minor prang, but nothing changes. I had a big fight with a car hire company once because somebody had caused a very minor scrape in a car park: and there was no way i was going to wait an hour for the cops to show up. The guilty party's insurers paid up in the end.

i*maginate said...

seabee, thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my queries. I am not all too familiar with regulations abroad, therefore the queries :)

I suspected things are done differently abroad from what I have heard: the police report seems to be unique to our region. Why, I don't know, when it seems these days the Police have more crucial matters to attend to than minor accidents.

I have long stories to tell about this myself. Upon insurance renewal, I was asked to "go back to the Police and have the accident report signed because it was over 6 months old". I went to the Police; the officer kindly gave me his direct number and asked me to inform the Insurance people to call him on his direct number to directly ask for a Police signature verifying their report was valid. You can guess my insurance renewal was fasttracked with no call to the number I provided them with.

Red tape? Extended lunch break for the insurance company dealing with unnecessary bureaucracy?

Re: c&d, the law now requires cars involved in minor accidents from blocking traffic. If they don't move their cars, I believe the law states they are eligible for a fine.

Do you think with our society make-up that an accident can go unjudged by an official authority and that in any given case two parties would voluntarily concede to a simple "exchange of insurance company details" without a public bust-up? And do you think the insurance companies here would be able to assess a claim fairly based on a swap of telephone numbers?

As for "drivers involved in a minor accident stand around for anything up to hours waiting for the police to arrive so that a report can be written" - Dubai is growing, and I reiterate, "the Police have more crucial matters to attend to than minor accidents".
If traffic/accidents cost Dubai an estimated Dhs. 4.5 bn p.a., it's about time the system adapts for the Police's benefit, and I am sure it will change soon.