Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stop saying accident!

Just yesterday I was complaining about the motorist quoted as saying no one should be blamed in such a situation, as it was an accident.

He's not alone, far too many people think that 'accidents' simply happen, we're not to blame, and so we can obviously do nothing to prevent them.

There was another example which had me ranting at the radio this morning.

Dubai Eye news had an item on a high profile case in the UK, relating to the death of two young brothers and serious injuries to their father caused by a drunk driver. He is now serving seven years in jail.

They referred to it as 'an accident'.

I do wish the media would stop using the word. It encourages people to think that those who cause these things are completely blameless.

I also said in that post yesterday the inevitable planning incompetence, the recently finished roads were all wrong so they've been dug up. So we have single lanes, cones and diversions everywhere, temporary roundabouts... the roads I was talking about are in Knowledge Village and on Al Sufouh Road into Dubai Marina.

Here's what I'm talking about. I took this photograph in September last year. You can see a completed, landscaped roundabout in the foreground:

Here it is now:

Not the RTA's fault I hasten to add. The RTA didn't exist when the 'planning' was done for this.

We have it all over 'New Dubai'. Roads planned so badly they have to be demolished, re-planned and re-built so that they actually do the job they were supposed to do.


LDU said...

Are the roads built by the Government or do private bodies have a monopoly on them?

Seabee said...

It seeems to be a combination, but I'm not entirely sure. The RTA was formed about three years ago to run the whole transport and roads area. Before that I guess it was Dubai Municipality. The RTA recently also took over the addressing system, naming roads and so on, so I guess in future they will have overall responsibility.

The Free Zone and freehold developments in New Dubai are the responsibility of the Master Developer (also government owned or controlled). I assume they are responsible for the original 'planning' of their developments.

There was obviously not an overall Master Plan (Town Planning).

D said...

Do you know why they're uprooting all the roads around KV? I'm still trying to figure it out... every time a road falls into place, WHACK, they tear them up again...

Duffy said...

About the accident thing...Do you think labeling it an "accident" has anything to do with culture? I get the sense (from a distance anyway) that the refrain of "inshallah" conveys a sort of predestination. That is, it all happens as Allah wills so all things are accidents. (This is an overstatement to be sure but I get the feeling it's at least an undercurrent in the region)

Mohammed said...

Its more about culture than religion.

I am a Muslim who believes Allah (SWT) has destined all events, good and bad.

However that doesnt prevent me from wearing my seat-belt, driving at safe speeds, and not tailgating.

In fact, there are Islamic teachings which encourage Muslims to take precautions against mishaps (be it theft or accidents), and to trust Allah along with the precautions.

So its basically culture which makes a sub-section of Muslims (and non-Muslims), drive like lunatics and then blame it on "destiny". IMO, such people shouldnt be allowed on the roads

Rose in Dubai said...

The definition of "accident" is an unintentional outcome. So yes it is appropriate to use that word here.

Just because it is an unintentional outcome does not mean it is an unforseeable one. The guys who dropped the crane are still idiots, because while they didn't (I assume) intend to drop it, but with a bit of care and forethought they could have anticipated the consequences and acted differently.

dave said...

"Accidents" are all about risk management which can be reduced by the taking of initiatives to lower the liklehood of such an occurrence.

The culture over here appears to be that of "reaction" and not "pro-action". This country has adequate laws and legislation, particularly with regard to health & safety and traffic. It is just not proactively policied with individuals still failing to cope with the concept that "accidents are preventable and foreseeable".

I anticipate we will now see a blitz on cranes with offenders "fined to full extent of the law" especially after the chaos of a falling crane in peak hour traffic the other day.

The only pro-active measures the Govt is doing successfully is removing "singles" from shared accomodation, but who knows why this is such a priority????

Seabee said...

Dave you're right, there are rules and laws in place for so many of these issues, but non-enforcement causes the problems.

Even the singles issue is actually reactive. They allowed illegal partioning and overcrowding for years, now suddenly decide to enforce the laws which have been in place for years.

D does anybody know why they dig up just finished roads?! I assume it's because the original plan was wrong.

Mohammed that's a great summing up of the attitude.

dave said...

Seabee, good point.

It shows a lack of long-term orientation on behalf of the Authorities here as it obviously suited them previously to allow over-crowding but now they are intent on moving the middle and lower masses out of the Emirate.