UAE | Traffic and Transport

Hotels to be involved in cutting road crashes caused by alcohol

Staff will ensure motorists are stable before giving them car keys

  • By Dina Aboul Hosn, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 October 17, 2011
  • Gulf News

Accident in Ras Al Khaimah
  • Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Horrific accidents like this one in Ras Al Khaimah are invariably a consequence of speeding.

Dubai: Hotels will have a role to play in reducing the alarmingly increasing road fatalities caused by driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), Dubai Police's Traffic Department has said.

Police will be coordinating with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing to educate hotel personnel on how to deal with visitors who appear to be under the influence of alcohol.

In Focus: Make It Safe campaign

"Hotel staff will be instructed to make sure a guest or visitor is stable, both mentally and physically, before handing over his car and allowing him to drive away," said Major General Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Director of Dubai Police's Traffic Department.

Pedestrians

If the guest appears unfit to drive, the hotel staff will call a taxi to make sure he does not cause an accident.

"Sometimes even pedestrians under the influence of alcohol cause accidents because they lose their balance and focus and can cross the road without ensuring that it is clear or even cross a highway," Maj Gen Al Zafein said.

"Eleven people died this year in accidents caused by DUI compared to only three deaths during the same period last year and a total of four in 2010," he said.

Technology

Some 258 accidents were caused by DUI until the end of September this year, compared to 385 last year. This year 56 people were injured including six who were severely injured and 16 moderately.

In the first nine months of 2010, 64 people were injure, one sustaining severe injuries, and 19 were moderately injured.

Technology like smartphones is not to be blamed for fatal traffic accidents, Maj Gen Al Zafein said, because people can get distracted for many other reasons.

"Before BlackBerry service was introduced in the UAE, we had 332 road deaths in Dubai at the end of 2007, whereas we only have 95 so far this year, which means we can't put the blame on smartphones in particular," he said.

Distractions

People could be seen reading newspapers, applying makeup, eating and drinking or even watching television while driving, which are all equally dangerous distractions from the road and traffic, according to Maj Gen Al Zafein.

A driver can be absent-minded even without doing any of that, and the classic example is when a driver is second in line waiting to enter a roundabout.

"He keeps his focus on the roundabout traffic and once it's clear, he steps on the pedal without ensuring that the car in front of him has moved, and ends up rear-ending that car," he said.

Accident deaths touch 97

Two people died and three sustained injuries in three separate accidents in the past two days, raising the number of road fatalities in Dubai to 97 this year.

In an accident, a vehicle hit an Asian pedestrian at 8pm on Saturday on the Business Bay road behind The Dubai Mall. The car dragged the man under its wheels causing serious injuries that resulted in his death.

At 2.50am a car hit a motorcycle in International City which resulted in the rider sustaining severe injuries, while at 6am two vehicles collided on Dubai Bypass Road in the Jebel Ali zone, which resulted in the death of one of the drivers and injury to two passengers. The deceased and injured were all Emiratis.

Comments (7)

  1. Added 18:28 October 17, 2011

    I dont think putting hotels as a part of this will help. They should mention the information about the person who drove and caused this. So that people should read and think before drinkin and driving. Lets be practical this wont help much. I think the best way is to provide Buses out side the popular hotels and bars i mean public transport only during week ends. cause this can reduce accidents within the City atleast.

    Marvin Gomes, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 16:10 October 17, 2011

    do not allow drink driving

    sivakumar, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 15:51 October 17, 2011

    Whilst I commend the Police for all their efforts I feel that there should be a decicated traffic branch with different makings on their vehicles to identify them as such and the people who use the left hand lane on the highway as a ''fast'' need to be re educatated. The outside lane is for overtaking not cruising at mach 1 in fact apart from the truck lanes all the lanes have the same speed limit. Driving is a privilege not a right and vehicles should be treated with same respect as a loaded weapon. Both are lethal in the wrong hands. Treat driving offenders as the criminals that they are. Also treble the price of insurance that will help and make people more careful.

    Paul Devine, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 11:09 October 17, 2011

    A genius initiative! Love it and support this all the way!

    Moose, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:20 October 17, 2011

    Yes its very true. we can't blame fully on smartphones. A very good move by gulfnews campaign to reduce the accidents in uae !!! I think hotel bars should not give drinks to the visitors after 10 pm and also there should be a limit number of drinks given to one person !!!!

    boney bersleebi, al-ain, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 10:18 October 17, 2011

    Its a good idea to make hotels part of this campaign. I think hotels should be equipped with alcohol testing kits too.

    Raj, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 09:38 October 17, 2011

    IMHO [In my humble opinion] it would be worth extending this admirable excercise to its logical origin; namely bar staff or more particularly waiters who bring customers their bill. They should be trained to recognize the subtle signs of drunkenness (the obvious ones speak for themselves) and offer to liaise with the hotel Concierge to call a taxi.

    S Mehta, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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