Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The end of another Dubai tradition?
A tradition we can actually do without is the one where motorists who have minor prangs and no injuries have to stand around in the sun and the dust waiting for a police patrol to arrive.
Without a written police report the insurance company won't pay up and workshops, officially, won't repair the damage.
According to Brigadier Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Director of the Dubai Police Traffic Department, there is at least one minor traffic accident every three minutes in Dubai, and he says that each takes 10 to 15 minutes to resolve.
I think he's just quoting the time at the scene doing the paperwork and not including the time the police patrol takes to get to and from the incident.
One every three minutes is 480 a day and that's a huge amount of police time wasted when they could instead be patrolling to clamp down on inconsiderate and dangerous driving.
Now the Traffic Department has met with the Emirates Insurance Association to discuss the possibility of referring minor car accidents, which are not subject to dispute, directly to the insurance companies.
That happens in many other countries. The drivers involved exchange contact and insurance details, get a witness name and contact details if necessary and then go on their way. Later they complete an insurance claim form.
Brig. Al Zafein said that "99 per cent of minor accidents do not involve disputes" and the police really shouldn't have to waste time on them.
He says that if the proposal is approved, the Traffic Department will train insurance companies on how to deal with, examine and assess minor accidents.
I think there'll also need to be education of motorists because there are bound to be some, maybe many, who have no experience of the system from their home countries.
The story is in Gulf News, here.