Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Still on the dangerous driving theme...

Sorry, I seem to be back on my driving standards rant again.

But I couldn't help but post about this story in The National.

Motorists are ignoring tougher laws on the use of mobile phones while driving, despite police issuing thousands of fines.

Fourteen out of 15 people questioned in Dubai yesterday admitted to talking on the phone while driving, while 11 said they sent text messages.

Col Saif Muhair al Mazrouei, the deputy director general of the traffic department for Dubai police, this week said it was difficult to penalise offenders.

“We can’t issue any absent fines as we have to make people aware of the violation, which will mean having to stop drivers on the roads and that will be a very challenging thing to do,” he said.

However, he admitted it was difficult to catch people due to the high number of cars with tinted windows.

“It’s difficult to see if they are on the phone when the windows are tinted, especially at night,” said Brig Zaffin.

I hardly know where to begin. Even if the police can see through heavily tinted windows, presumably in violation of the law, it's 'challenging' to stop the drivers. Fourteen out of fifteen respondents admitted using their mobile while driving. The 'tougher' laws are being ignored, so what does that say about their toughness? It's not about education, apparently: Everyone knew it was illegal to drive and talk on the phone at the same time.

This sentence gives an idea of the mindset of drivers:

Some people said the police were focused more on serious offences, such as driving without a licence or reckless driving, to pull over people for talking on their phones.

"More serious offences" means they think driving without a licence is more serious than talking on the mobile and "reckless driving" does not in their minds include talking on the mobile.

How do you deal with that kind of stupidity?

The story is here.


alexander... said...

Stopping people and nicking them is what the world's police forces do, isn't it?

Had to laugh given I posted about the TRA's woefully inadequate road safety advertising campaign today!

Restless in Dubai said...

So if someone is driving on let's say Emirates Road and doing 120 kph which is within the speed limit, and is talking on the phone, supposedly not driving a tinted windows vehicles, is spotted by a policeman, and was asked to pull over, how on earth is he going to do that? Safely? Given that he actually sees the policeman/patrol telling him to stop. I say give absent tickets, when people start paying 500 DHS for being on the phone, they will start thinking of getting a hands free Bluetooth car kit, problem solved!

dave said...

Haji Al Bloushi of the AUH Traffic & Patrol Dept is quoted (Arabian Bus. 27/04/2008) that window tint exceeding 30% will attract a 10,000 dhs fine and offenders will be vigourously prosecuted.
Yet now that very same issue of window tint is being used as an excuse for not policing mobile phone offences??????
I know they are two different Emirates but am I the only one that can see the problem with policing here?????

CG said...

Out of all the things we want to remain static here in Dubai, this is the only thing that would be nice to change, and it hasn't.

If they clamp down on tinted windows then I will be in for a long time.

dubaibilly said...

I stand open to be corrected on this, but can't the police access phone records to prove someone was using their phone at a given time. So, if they see someone using their phone whilst driving surely they should be able to charge that person. They can get the proof easily enough. Now, I suppose you could go to court and argue that you were 'hands free' at the time, but surely that would be the same as arguing that the police had lied simply in order to charge you and surely that would not stand up.

What I'm asking here is why can a person not be charged in absentia?

Restless in Dubai said...

Here you go...

Seabee said...

DB, phone records are certainly used overseas to support action against mobile-using drivers, so I assume it could also be done here.

ZeTallGerman said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the police "launch" (gosh, I hate that word because they use it for every little thing they do) a campaign against tinted windows at the beginning of the year? I seem to remember a few very extreme weekends of people being pulled-over left, right and centre and being fined on the spot for tint heavier that 30%... and then suddently they lost interest again... why?
Yesterday I was on the 611 going 125km an hour, and a heavily tinted car was 2 inches from my bumper. When I didn't move over immediately, the driver came up right next to me, and starting forcing me towards the left barrier... all of this at speeds of around 130km! If you want to kill yourselves, fine. But do it far away from me! I just wish I'd had the time to note down his license plate... but then again, what difference would that make anyway? Catching such a maniac is probably too much hassle for the police anyway. Until someone's brains are splattered all over the highway, the police does nothing.

Seabee said...

ZTG, it's as I said in my previous post: Let's hope that it's not just another of the short-term reactions to recent events that will disappear almost as soon as it's started.
You're right about the tinting crackdown. Big announcement, they even went around the police carparks and made a big noise about fining their own staff. A couple of weeks later it was all forgotten.

Anonymous said...

The driving instructors here are f***ing idiots. idiots. i got my first driving license here, and my instructor would drive right up to other cars and overtake them at speed with barely a meter between him and them. he said it was only possible to do this because when u use your indicators your car automatically starts turning in the direction you have indicated so it was "not possible" to have a car accident.
f***ing idiot.