Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two week campaign against dangerous driving.

I don't know whether something's been lost in translation, but another 'initiative' from Dubai police raises questions.

Gulf News reports that "...the two-week campaign focuses on three dangerous offences which include reckless driving and what accompanies it from speeding, leaving enough distance between vehicles and zigzag driving.

And it's going to be "on the stretch of Shaikh Zayed Road from the Trade Centre Roundabout to the Mall of the Emirates."

Two week campaign?

This is the type of driving that kills and injures so many people.

Shouldn't it be an ongoing, fifty-two weeks a year, twenty-four hours a day campaign?

And why on just one tiny stretch of road?

But it will be extended. "After completing the campaign on Shaikh Zayed Road, it will move to other highways and external roads and will continue until there is a positive reaction and commitment from the motorists."

I simply don't get it.

A two week campaign on a small stretch of road, to be extended later.

If we're ever to get our horrendous accident and death rate down we need more traffic police out on the roads, all the roads, all the time. Starting now.

The full report is here.

Then onto another hot topic around town.

Another Gulf News report tells us that As the deadline for tenants in overcrowded villas draws nearer, Dubai Municipality has clarified that people can share villas if they are related.

That seems to suggest a bit of backtracking by Dubai Municipality, that they've given a little more thought to their original all-encompasing directive. Or perhaps something was lost in translation when the original announcement was made.

The 'one villa one family' campaign is a misnomer apparently. Now "...the current inspections aimed at curbing the illegal sharing of villas is in line with 'Let us protect our residential environment...together', and not to implement a 'one villa one family' policy."

At least an official from DM has now said that the crackdown is against overcrowding, although they still haven't gone far enough and seem not to understand the concept of shared accommodation.

The official said: "If the members are in some way related, there is no problem if they share a villa but there should be no overcrowding."

No overcrowding, yes I agree with that. But sharers have to be related? Why?

I know, for example, two British couples, friends but not related, who share a three bedroom, three bathroom villa. For the same money they could each get a small studio apartment, so they prefer to share the villa with much more space and comfort.

Why shouldn't they?

And singles sharing a villa, each with their own room. Why should they not be allowed to share?

The new clarification is a step in the right direction but they need to go further. Stamp out overcrowding, yes. Stamp out sharing accommodation, no.

That story is here.


dave said...

I can guarantee nothing will change as a result of the Police's latest campaign. It is purely lip service as usual.

Remember previous campaigns over the last 2 years:-

Tinted Windows, Using Mobile Phones, Mini-Buses Speeding (aka the poor coffee shop staff killed?), Laborer Buses Speeding, Driving in the Fog, Speeding (18 times), Hard Shoulder Driving, Following Too Closely, Drink Driving, Use of Horns, etc etc etc etc...... and what has changed???

Absolutely diddly squat!!!

Anonymous said...

Strange country indeed, isn't it?
Most of these people need brain surgery instead of a traffic campaign: they all drive me into nuts every single day. Not to mention Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah drivers!

Anonymous said...

There are a number of reasons to blame and unless they are targetted, nothing will change:

1) Drivers who are fatalistic, openly admit to not wearing belts or driving over limit and then justify it by saying "Its in Gods hands" or "We (.........) are brave drivers unlike (......)". Such people need to be stopped from getting licences on psychological grounds

2) People who view fines as a "fee". They speed without hesitation, pay fines, if their car is confiscated, and proceed to drive their other car (and follow it up with a post on forums bitching over their fine).

And the most important reason, but no paper will report it

3) Inconsistent application of laws; some people are jailed for driving 200 kph, others escape any real punishment (apart from fines), because they are "connected" to some senior official.
Now I dont think connections work in extreme cases like drink driving, or running over people. But it probably helps in avoiding punishment for speeding, judging by the number of times I have seen people racing at 200 kph nonchalantly on highways knowing well there may be a police patrol anywhere....

caz said...

A similar problem has exists in Sydney, and is becoming worse,

The same solution you advocate in Dubai applies here. But as Dave said, little or nothing will be done.

Once again I repeat, there are those who are alive today, who will not be alive after the Christmas break, due to speeding, drink and drug fuelled drivers.

What a criminal waste.


ZeTallGerman said...

Yes, I was also a bit perplexed about the "2 week campaign". Just this morning, once again, a person with seemingly nothing to loose and no care in the world was willing to ram me off the road, because he decided that instead of breaking and changing lanes behind me he had to accelerate and cut across me at a speed of over 110 km/h. I managed to stop the car without flipping or crashing, pulled onto the hard shoulder and got out - unable to drive because my hands were shaking so violently. The beauty of it? Right at the highway exit there was a police car - and the policemen were laughing at me. 'Nuff said.

Seabee said...

I'm pleased you're safe and well!!
You should have taken the police details and reported them to their Chief perhaps.

Anonymous said...

Dubai has a Zero tolerance policy towards drinking & driving.
Which means if you have even 1 sip of champagne as a toast, you have broken the law.
You could go to jail, loose your job & be deported for 1 sip !!!!
All over Europe we have a certain quota of alcohol content.
It would be a welcome to introduce an internationally accepted system here.

Seabee said...

Anon I happen to believe that Dubai has it right and the rest of the world should adopt the no tolerance standard. Allowing a general percentage does not allow for all the variants of individuals - age, gender, weight, food intake, health, tolerance to alcohol, amount drunk over what period. All of those things change the effect of alcohol on each individual.

Added to that is the implication that drinking and driving is acceptable. It is far better to drum into people's heads that driving after drinking is dangerous and unacceptable.

ZeTallGerman said...

thank you, seabee. I was too shaken to even think of noting down their details. I also agree with the zero-tolerance on alcohol. It affects every single person differently. I actually have a friend who turns into a ranting fool even after just 1 glass of wine. No way we ever let her drive!