Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cause & effect

Two reports today highlight the tragedy of our appalling road problems.

Dubai Police say that traffic offences are up by 43%. So in spite of the publicity, the endless talk that so many of us engage in, the campaigns by police and the RTA, not only are drivers not listening, the situation is getting worse.

More than two million traffic offences were reported last year - in a population of about 1.3 million and something like 750,000 vehicles.

The largest category will come as no surprise - speeding. Radar on Dubai's roads recorded over 1.3 million speeding offences. As we all know, radar catches a fraction of the total - who hasn't regularly seen speeding drivers slow down as they approach a radar camera? Or speeding on roads not fitted with radar? In reality the number of motorists guilty of speeding is much higher than the official figure.

Then we have the tragedy of a crash in Sharjah yesterday in which five workers were killed and seven injured.

The head of Sharjah Police's Patrol section said the cause was a heavy truck driving in the wrong direction at speed. To make it even worse, the load of iron bars the truck was carrying wasn't secured properly.

Speeding in the wrong direction with a dangerous load.

A minibus carrying twelve workers and the truck collided, the iron bars obviously dislodged. Three of the passengers died at the scene, two others died in hospital. The extent of the injuries to the others isn't given.

We all know the results of dangerous driving. Don't we? So why do so many people still do it?

The reports are here and here.


Keefieboy said...

If I hadn't lived in Dubai and witnessed the appalling - APPALLING - standard of driving, I might think you were exagerrating. For all the mouth from the Chief of Police, it's HIS responsibility to fix this problem. Nobody else's. He could start with proper driver training, and maybe force all existing licence holders to take a 'proper' test. And then serious enforcement by dozens of on-road patrols who have been trained in pursuit driving or at least can write down a fucking registration number. And no use of wasta by anyone, ever.

Seabee said...

Keefie, it seems to be another of those whose-responsibility-is-it things that plague us. The RTA seems to be in charge of making the rules and they've brought in a new stricter test (see my earlier posting about the outcry from the 'trainers') and say they're now sorting out the driving schools.
The police? It's the old, old story about enforcement isn't it. Or more accurately, complete lack of it.

i*maginate said...

"...why do so many people still do it?"

I donno, I was going to ask the guy in the beaten up car travelling at snail's pace in the middle lane of Jum Beach Road, but I was going a little faster than 20kmh!

I was also gonna ask the 2 bimbos in a BMW hogging the "fast" lane and not giving way, but I think they were doing their nails.

Poor driving skills, bad manners and zilch etiquette from others on the road are really infuriating!

keefieboy the wasta system will never stop. It's not like corruption doesn't exist either. And if it's a case of law enforcement when a hotshot is involved...I somehow think "justice" is conveniently intertwined with the word wasta - otherwise you can imagine what the nature of court cases would be!

Anonymous said...

I would have thought that Dubai ridding itself of these moronic drivers would progress in an evoultionary fashion - as "winners" of the Darwin award piled up. Unfortunately, we get a fresh load of Neanderthals at the airport each day. Moreover, apparently life is cheap for Emirati's who account for, what(?), 5% of the population, but 25 percent of the road deaths. You do the math. The problem here is aggression - too many aggressive, entitled, self-absorbed butmunchers on the roads! And the confusing signage, dangerously designed roads, high speed limits, yadda yadda yadda, don't help either.

Anonymous said...

Hi there .. can you please provide us the links of the reports .. thanks in advance mate

Seabee said...

Sorry - I've added them now.