Thursday, March 02, 2006


Gulf News

Motorists to be taught rules of good driving

By Ashfaq Ahmed, Staff Reporter

Dubai: Aggressive driving, speeding and lack of respect for other motorists are some of the reasons for the increasing number of road accidents in Dubai, said a high official from the Road Transport Authority (RTA).
"Some motorists have even been spotted writing and reading while driving," said Hashim Al Hashemi, Director of Traffic Department at the RTA. He said many drivers do not wear seat belts and do not concentrate on the road while driving.
In a bid to educate careless drivers, the RTA yesterday announced the launch of a Road Safety Awareness Programme, which will continue for one year.
"Traffic safety has come up as a major community issue as the number of deaths in car accidents increased to 236 last year. We aim to reduce at least 20 per cent casualties through our awareness programme," he told a press conference.
Al Hashemi said the Higher Committee on Traffic is also reviewing traffic laws and fines to prepare a new draft law, including a new fine system, use of mobile phones, seat belts, and use of child seat in vehicles.
"The main aim of the campaign is to address the issue of lack of awareness in the community on the risks drivers pose for themselves and other road users due to their negligence.
"The programme is aimed at building a right attitude and approach to driving," he said.
Dr Aisha Al Busmait, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communication at the RTA, said different educational programmes will be launched during the one-year campaign. "It will start with a child safety programme with the 'Kids are Safer Behind' campaign," she said.
Some 100 taxis in Dubai will be fitted with child restraint safety seats to increase awareness amongst parents about safety of children in vehicles. Taxi drivers have been trained to tell passengers about safety of children.
The RTA will also launch a series of activities and programmes such as lectures in schools and hospitals, community events and media campaigns. There will be incentives and rewards for the best drivers chosen by the RTA during the campaign.
The child safety campaign is launched in cooperation with MotherCare and Dubai Transport Corporation.

Bad habits
Use of mobile phone without using headsets
Writing while driving
Not wearing seat belts
Not using child safety seats
Aggressive driving
Not keeping to lanes
Jumping red signals
Lack of concentration and patience

Well, it's a start. The police are not in evidence doing much to stop the mayhem, so trying to get motorists to do the right thing in the first place is a step in the right direction. Actually, when I think about it, maybe police resources are completely tied up attending accidents all day long so they don't have time to stop them happening in the first place!

1 comment:

nzm said...

Yes - but did you see the front page of today's 7 Days?

Maybe they need to start educating the driving schools and giving more stringent tests to the instructors first!