Tuesday, October 27, 2009

They're still out there.

I'm sure I've noticed a reduction in bad, inconsiderate, dangerous driving over the past year.

The main reason is probably the reduction in frustration because the gridlock we were experiencing everywhere has largely disappeared. The major contributors to that I'm sure are the opening of so many new roads and the migration back to Dubai from Sharjah and the northern emirates since the rents here came down.

But morons are still out there.

In the last eighten hours I've had three close calls.

Three 4X4s. Two Dubai and one Abu Dhabi. Two women and one man, all Caucasians.

First, coming in to the southern end of Dubai Marina from SZR and onto the one-way system. Look left, all clear, proceeed, miss by a few centimetres someone taking a short cut and ignoring the No Entry signs.

Second, on the 60 kph section of Al Sufouh Road going into Knowledge Village. Just coming up to the turnoff to Palm Jumeirah when I was passed by a Jeep doing at least 90kph which then pulled across in front of me, slammed on her brakes and took the turnoff. Again a few centimetres.

Third, in the car park of Marina Mall I pulled out of my parking space, turned the corner and there was a moron coming in at far too high a speed through a No Entry sign and against the arrows. Emergency stop required.

By the way, I identified the ethnicity of the drivers because it's 'Europeans' who think they (we) have the sole ability to drive correctly. The letters pages, dinner party conversation, radio callers routinely blame 'locals' for all the problems on our roads.

12 comments:

Jassim said...

SeaBee, I recognize that I am one of your blogs big fans specially when it comes to Dubai and life in here.

away from ethnicity blameing and generalising or specifiying, I think we have morones all the time in here, why?
simple answers:
*All people in this city get excited only if we have few more dirhams in bank accounts that we think this whole place is about money, but yes it is true this whole place when things are rosey is always all about money(Ali Babab cave of Jewelry concept/Eat as you want concept)
*the no respect and selfesh high profile attitude that almost evreyone wants to have as a must in this part of the world especially in public places and especially roads where we drive.
*The huge and vast economic and culture diffrences between the population resideing and working in this city and it's close by neighboures who use the city for alot of there daily life happenings including work.
*The exsessive number of cars that the city always have in comparison with it's network and what it can handle.
*Rush Hour extraordinary single way flow of motors and the all go to one place at one time lifestyle that alot of the population have, all in the mall at Thursday night is one simple example of this attitude.

I don't want to go so academic by mentioning more of what I feel the cause of the problem, but I wish that some of the caucasians you mentioned behave well too in the areas that they reside in bigger volumes, where I live we have a less leathel mix of bad drivers or peopbably becaues I left the driving pain to the Asian Driver I hired back in August who has taken alot of my commuting pain and anger to his side of the motor, but it's not the solution for evreybody to hire a driver otherwise we would be a city of private drivers; which alot of people would not sacrifice to do or even afford to spend on.

Seabee said...

Thanks for reading and for your comments Jassim.

We do have a unique culture mix here but we share many things with other cities. For example: "The exsessive number of cars that the city always have in comparison with it's network and what it can handle.
*Rush Hour extraordinary single way flow of motors and the all go to one place at one time lifestyle that alot of the population have"
is the same in cities all around the world.

My feeling is that because people are away from their own countries they think they can get away with behaving badly. The same bad attitude is shown by so many people when they're away from their own country on holiday, for example the northern Europeans when they're in southern Europe, the Aussies in Bali etc etc.

Grumpy Goat said...

A former colleague, a Brit, once told me: "I love driving here [Qatar]. I can drive like a total moron with complete impunity. If I drove like this at home I'd lose my licence..." etc.

At which point I made a mental note to find any excuse not to be in the same car as this alarming gentleman.

The Abudhabilist said...

Moronic behaviour is universal.

While I understand your motivation to call the aforementioned drivers 'caucasian', for as long as articles a written with a bias against one side or another, it's only furthering the problem.

Unless that was of course the intent, creating sensation etc. in which case.. well played I guess.

What is important to note is the culture of the road here - not necessarily those driving on it.

The culture of the UAE roads allow for, if not passively encourages, poor behaviour.

Speed camera's set to go off well over the speed limit they are supposed to be controlling.

General acceptance that the limits themselves are used as a guide line.

Police vehicles driving in a manner opposite to the laws they are supposed to be enforcing.

The response of new drivers on the roads here whether local or not, is measured by how they are influenced negatively by those already driving around them.
Bullying, baiting, speeding, parking, tinted windows, ignoring traffic signs etc.

Enforced laws would make a difference.

Fear of breaking those laws, using a single rule procedure would help even more.

but that's a whole other story.

Seabee said...

Abudhabilist I agree with you, and I've said much the same many times in posts about driving, the laws, the lack of enforcement of them.

One thing I disagree with: "for as long as articles a written with a bias against one side or another, it's only furthering the problem." There's no bias in the post, I simply identified the drivers concerned for the reason I stated in the last para.

In fact even if there was bias it wouldn't further the problem. You've already identified many of the causes of the problem.

Anonymous said...

There's no bias in the post, I simply identified the drivers concerned for the reason I stated in the last para.

If all three of the drivers were wearing local dress, would you have mentioned that fact in your post?

Seabee said...

Anon@4.04, maybe.

Do you think that because all three happened to be 'European' I shouldn't have mentioned it - in spite of what I said in my last para?

I find it interesting, and informative, that you and other commenters are less concerned with the dangerous driving than with the ethnicity of the drivers.

Doug said...

I think the ethnicity of the drivers is less relevant than the type of vehicle involved. There are four vehicles you really have to watch in the UAE. Never trust a cabbie, a 4x4, minibuses or a man who drives with the window open. The last is particularly problematic as they either have nothing left to lose or are actually insane.

But it's only the 4x4 driver who's outright malicious.

The Abudhabilist said...

I suppose you have to call it how you see it, but personally I think you are painting yourself into a corner.

I am guessing that you are including me in:
I find it interesting, and informative, that you and other commenters are less concerned with the dangerous driving than with the ethnicity of the drivers.

What information you could glean from my comment is obviously beyond my scope to interpret, and a surprising situation given that the body of the comment was about "Trouble on the roads" (always gets a good readership, this topic)
and what I saw as prime reasons for trouble itself.

What I find interesting is your comment that:
There's no bias in the post, I simply identified the drivers concerned for the reason I stated in the last para.

Yet that paragraph you refer to begins with a biased statement:
My feeling is that because people are away from their own countries they think they can get away with behaving badly

Hence my initial concern about some finger pointing that may be in play.

You would have your head firmly planted in a handily placed dune if you thought that mentioning the race of the drivers is harmless.

There are tensions here that don't need any more fuel thrown for that slow burning fire. However small and seemingly harmless.

Misunderstandings and cultural separations are rife.

Your story would have been as good, and as interesting if the drivers had have been just that ... drivers.

Taking the time to mention the race says more about the writer than it does the commentator.

Anonymous said...

Anon@4.04, maybe.

Or maybe not? What does your inability to answer my question with a simple "yes" say about your supposed lack of bias?

Do you think that because all three happened to be 'European' I shouldn't have mentioned it - in spite of what I said in my last para?

Not at all. But I get the strong impression, bolstered by your "maybe" response to my earlier post, that you only did mentioned their ethnicity because the drivers were 'European' and that you would not have done so if they had looked non-European.

I find it interesting, and informative, that you and other commenters are less concerned with the dangerous driving than with the ethnicity of the drivers.

You were the first to mention ethnicity. I find it "interesting and informative" that you should do so and then appear to express surprise that others comment on such reference.

Seabee said...

I also noted that all three vehicles were 4X4s, but you didn't complain of bias about that.

"But I get the strong impression, bolstered by your "maybe" response to my earlier post, that you only did mentioned their ethnicity because the drivers were 'European' and that you would not have done so if they had looked non-European." Read my last para again, there was a very specific reason for noting the ethnicity of the drivers, which I took pains to explain.

I'm bored with this trivialising of the dangerous driving, so no more responses from me.

Anonymous said...

I also noted that all three vehicles were 4X4s, but you didn't complain of bias about that.

No I didn't, because to me that was not biased. But surely it is biased to only refer to ethnicity if the ethnicity so referenced is only that of one particular group and not others?

Read my last para again, there was a very specific reason for noting the ethnicity of the drivers, which I took pains to explain.

I noted your specific reason. What I found interesting, and which was confirmed by you later "maybe" response, was that you only felt able to draw attention to ethnicity of drivers because the ethnicity in question was "European". Why would you have (maybe) not mentioned the drivers' ethnicity had they not been European?

I'm bored with this trivialising of the dangerous driving, so no more responses from me.

Where did I or any of the other commentors here trivialise dangerous driving?