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How to stay safe on the roads during Ramadan

Following some rules of thumb can go a long way in keeping you - and others - out of harm’s way

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Shivananda Baikady, general manager, Tristar Group Road Transport & Warehousing

Dubai: Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) departments in some organisations design special training programmes for fasting drivers to manage sleep, daily exercise and weight management.

The programme also covers aspects like the ideal diet for suhoor and iftar, the need to keep cool during summer, use of safe routes and avoidance of road rage and rush hours during Ramadan.

Ramadan and summer driving training begins well before the start of Ramadan. Non-fasting drivers are also covered in the training so they are also cautious and can expect the unexpected from other drivers on the road.

With a good mix of fasting and non-fasting drivers, the workload is distributed in such a way that long hauls and difficult trips are not assigned to fasting drivers.

It is a good practice to fit all vehicles with a GPS tracking system monitored by a dedicated team on a 24x7 basis for any speeding, harsh braking, sudden acceleration, route deviation or unauthorised stops. Drivers are issued with a Stop Work Card which empowers them to refuse a trip if they are fatigued or have already completed their prescribed duty hours.

Here are some rules of thumb if you are a motorist to stay safe on the roads during Ramadan:

-If you feel tired or are not well, stop at a safe location and rest until you feel better

-Avoid driving close to Fatoor time (Maghrib) as there will be heavy traffic with people rushing home for iftar

-Be careful when driving near mosques and Ramadan bazaars

-Be polite on the roads as other drivers might drive more aggressively

-Avoid working in direct sunlight if possible, make sure the air conditioning system is working properly

-Rest in a cool place as much as possible

-Do not speed

-Avoid unnecessary journeys or chores

The writer is general manager, Tristar Group Road Transport & Warehousing


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