UAE | Traffic and Transport

New campaign targets bad driving practices

Use of mobile phones during driving and speeding to be addressed in new campaign

  • By Rayeesa Absal, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 December 14, 2011
  • Gulf News

Book in one hand and a mobile phone in the other, even as he is driving
  • Image Credit: Gulf News
  • Time: 12.30pm
    Where: Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi
    Violation: Book in one hand and a mobile phone in the other, even as he is driving!
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Dubai: Every second counts while driving and even a momentary distraction could result in loss of lives, senior traffic and police officials said on Tuesday, kicking off a road safety campaign.

The campaign was launched by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), in cooperation with Dubai Police.

"While driving, even a few moments of distraction — sending text messages, looking at pictures on the phone or getting upset over a phone conversation — could result in fatalities," Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said.

The campaign hopes to address three main areas of concern: speeding, use of mobile phones during driving and seat belts, Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, said.

"The persistent efforts of authorities have paid off in significantly bringing down traffic fatalities," he said.

"In 2007, traffic fatalities hit 21.7 cases per every hundred thousand of the population. The number declined to about 12.7 cases per hundred thousand of the population in 2009 — which is a 54.2 per cent drop."

Traffic fines

"The fatalities further dropped to eight cases per hundred thousand of population in 2010, and this year it is expected to hit seven cases per hundred thousand of population by the end of this year," said Al Tayer.

Major General Al Mazeina said that police will strengthen enforcement and mete out fines to traffic rule violators.

Dr Aisha Al Busmait, Director of RTA Marketing and Corporate Communication, said that the campaign will be held under the slogan — I won't let it happen.

"It focuses on sending a message to passengers which calls on them to shoulder their responsibility in rectifying the negative practices of drivers," she said

The campaign will reach out to all segments of the society through a wide spectrum of media and venues such as social media websites, malls, cinema halls, hoardings and brochures.

The RTA will hold workshops and lectures at various colleges, schools, public and private organisations, and shopping malls besides publishing ads in various visual, audio and written media outlets, Dr Aisha said.

A 70.3 per cent drop in pedestrian deaths has also been achieved over the years, Al Tayer said, attributing this to several awareness campaigns, in addition to the construction of 67 footbridges.

Human error

Pedestrian deaths stood at 145 cases in 2007 while in 2010 the number of deaths were 43.

Commenting on the importance of awareness campaigns, Engineer Hussain Al Banna, Director of Traffic, at RTA's Traffic and Roads Agency, said that 85 to 90 per cent of accidents are a result of human error. "Hence it is imperative to increase awareness," he said.

Comments (19)

  1. Added 19:52 December 14, 2011

    this is good safty for pepole .so i am agree.

    saif, abudabai, Bangladesh

  2. Added 19:43 December 14, 2011

    During Ramadan around 4 i was driving with my kid while in the Ajman roundabout a car tried to change the lane i altered the driver by horn.but i guess the driver found this very offensive that he started speeding up in front and then suddenly stopping .. i tried changing lane but he wouldn't let me and in full speed change his lane as well my car went out of control as i applied brakes i got panic as my kid also started crying .. the tinted car driver literally tried his best to kill us?? who is responsible for this behavior??? fines will not change these people attitude

    tayyaba, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 17:26 December 14, 2011

    There is only one solution to tackle such behaviour on the roads...........confiscate the licenses and do not return them before two or three months.....or even better ban such drivers from every driving on the road.....this may sound a bit too harsh or extreme....but if you ask me it should work......better safe than sorry....

    Melwyn Serrao, Doha, Qatar

  4. Added 17:06 December 14, 2011

    I am totally agreed with Alex, I observed that many people in fast lane they flashing the car whose speed 130km/hr putting pressure to change the lane, they don’t think even clear passage is available for front vehicle, suddenly changing the lane because of pressure of follow vehicle and get accident. This is a serious issue Dubai police should look in the matter for catching these vehicles & put them hefty fines.

    shakeel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 16:38 December 14, 2011

    flash light is very dangerous in evening time. because when they are flashing from behind we can not see in front its like blinding. such lighst are only used in expensive cars. it must not allowed in uae. one thing dubai `s driver are more respectfully driving actually when we are on the road we have to respect each other and must be forgiving in case any one does a mistake. thanks.

    OLI, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 16:05 December 14, 2011

    It is once again disappointing to notice that depsite the fact that the majority of drivers systematically dirve on the left side of the road even when the road has 5 driving lanes, nobody speaks about it and realises it is the main cause of overtaking from the right side. When will the authorities start paying attention to that and start educating dirivers?????

    Jean, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 15:46 December 14, 2011

    I agree with Alex's comment, there are many more causes of accidents than just speeding. Many times I too have witness drivers almost causing accidents by being inattentive or simply ignorant of other road users.

    Neil, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 14:01 December 14, 2011

    I completely agree with Mr .Vipin kumars Anonymous and Alex comments on their stand on Bad driving Habits. Each day i come cross atleast 3 people talking over the phone while driving. As Vipin stated we read this almost every day but are motorists following the rules and regulations. How are the authoritys going to track these motorists down who are talking and driving. Today i had to honk at a driver i nfront who was using his cell and driving . when he saw me he was pretending as if he was not talking . I immediately Jotted the plate no down , Called up the company and almost fired the receptionist and the manager. Some motorists would not even bother even if you honk and they just tend to flout the rules ignoring others who are driving behind and in front. there is lack of respect and lack of obedience on the roads and the attitude has to change now. I was almost going to call the cops giving the plate number down but then i decided to call the company and complain. Experts who know where the radars are placed act over smart and once they pass the radar they speed off. is this what you have been taught at your driving classes? I have decided to keep an eye on those who will be talking and driving so that i can forward the plate numbers to the cops. Lets see what we can do.

    Mathew Litty, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 13:51 December 14, 2011

    I have to make a request to RTA,i m living in Al-Nahda-2 Dubai,near N.M.C.Hospital,there is an Emarat petrol station on the same street(on the side road) where there is N.M.C.Hospital is located,now that petrol station is surrounded by 4 turnings,the view of this area is very clear from my balcony,and I use that same road thrice a day to pick and drop my kids for school and obviously lot other people and school busses also use this route as there are plenty of schools in this area,the speed limit on this road is 40,and I believe no-one follows it,as a result almost every week I witness accidents exactly on the same place,and once it happened thrice a week and then I presumed that now definitely RTA would definitely take some action and will take any measures to prevent these collisions but unfortunately nothing was done. I have a suggestion,according to my limited thinking,if they can only built speed breakers/humps on all those 4 turnings,the amount of these crashes can easily be controlled.I would really appreciate if this can be forwarded to the related authorities and anything productive can be done in this regard.Thank you.

    Muneeba Othman, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 13:45 December 14, 2011

    in abu dhabi city you can see a Taxi in more than 80% of accidents. because they stop the car anywehre on the road if they see a passenger without looking behind. there should be a fine to passenger & taxi driver if they stops other than allowed taxi stops

    abdulsalam, abudhabi, India

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