Dubai: Thirteen people were killed and 23 were injured last year in Dubai due to motorists stopping their vehicles in the middle of the road, police said.
Dubai police have urged motorists not to endanger their lives and the lives of others by stopping their vehicles on the road — but some drivers still insist on stopping on the highways for different reasons.
Four Filipinos died on the spot on Friday when their Abu Dhabi-bound vehicle stalled in the third lane of the Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Road.
According to the police investigation, one of the wheels wiggled and the four passengers came out of the car to check while in the third lane.
Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Director of Traffic Department at Dubai Police, said in case of road emergencies or breakdowns, motorists should always remember not to obstruct traffic flow to avoid accidents.
“Despite being a dangerous offence, some motorists still do stop on the road. It’s just a simple traffic instruction but people sometimes forget it. Don’t stop a vehicle on the road if the vehicle can still be driven to the hard shoulder,” Brigadier Al Mazroui said.
He said that drivers should not keep their cars on the road even when minor accidents happen or when a motorist gets a flat tyre.
The current fine for stopping on the road is Dh500 plus four traffic black points. By July, the fine will be doubled to Dh1,000 and the traffic black points increased to six.
Thomas Edelmann, Founder of Road Safety UAE, said car breakdowns can be avoided if cars are regularly serviced or maintained and if drivers do a pre-drive vehicle check.
“The problem starts with people just hopping into their cars and driving off. It is our obligation as drivers to check our vehicle if they are roadworthy before we drive,” Edelmann told Gulf News.
Some car problems can be unavoidable but they can be addressed without risking lives.
“If, when driving, you have an exploded tyre or a tyre malfunction, go to the right-hand side towards the shoulder or even beyond. If you have a spare tyre, you can fix it there. Either you do it yourself or you call someone to help you. But because the road is also a danger zone, get the car to safety as soon as possible,” he added.
“If there is a major breakdown, like the engine or something, don’t start crawling under your vehicle to check. Call a towing company to get your car towed.”
Edelmann said no moving car will just breakdown and stop in a split second, it is not possible mechanically. Cars have gauges that signal to the driver that something is wrong. Ignoring these could cause trouble.
“However, in the unlikely event that the car really breaks down in a split-second and we find ourselves on the third lane, what do we do? We have to evacuate. We have to run to safety, go on the hard shoulder and beyond. If you have time, put on the hazard lights, put the emergency triangle, and alert the police,” Edelmann said.
TIMELINE: Accidents caused by car breakdown (NOTE: This is a compilation of both motorists stopping on the road itself and on the shoulder).
April 14, 2017
Four Filipinos died instantly and two were injured when their four-wheeled vehicle that stalled in the third lane of the Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Road and an oncoming car rammed into them from behind.
November 12, 2016
A man was killed when he stood next to his broken-down vehicle on the hard shoulder in Jebel Ali and was hit by a truck.
July 11, 2015
A Dubai Police officer dies on duty when a pick-up truck crashed into him when he was standing next to his patrol car. The police officer was helping out a woman, whose vehicle had broken down on the side of the road on Hessa Street, Dubai.
September 08, 2014
Four people died and five were injured in an accident involving three cars on the Academic City road near Al Warqa’a roundabout. The 18-year-old Emirati driver of the first car, was speeding and driving recklessly, which led him to lose control of his vehicle and swerve to the right, crashing into a car that was parked on the hard shoulder.
November 18, 2013
An on-duty policeman dies in a traffic accident on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road near Arabian Ranches, when he was struck by a driver. The policeman has been on the scene mapping another minor accident that involved two cars on the busy stretch of road. At the time, his patrol vehicle was parked on the hard shoulder, and he was struck as he was getting out of the vehicle from the right side when he was hit by an oncoming vehicle.
August 01, 2013
A Jordanian woman was detained following a tragic accident in which four Yemenis died, including a 9-month-old infant, near the seventh interchange on Shaikh Zayed Road. The motorist had a sudden breakdown in her vehicle’s rear tyre so she stopped her SUV on the road and went out to warn other drivers that her car had broken down. Meanwhile the car [in which the Yemenis were travelling] came from behind and crashed into the SUV that was pushed 40 metres into the right lane.
July 03, 2013
A 64-year-old Emirati man was killed on the spot when he was crushed between a woman’s car and his SUV while checking his burst tyre on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road.
September 14, 2012
An Egyptian man died in a traffic accident on Emirates Road near the Dubai-Sharjah border. The motorist was driving with his wife and child when he stopped to fix a flat tyre by parking his car on the left side of the road when suddenly a four-wheel-drive vehicle in the fast lane hit him and he died on the spot in front of his wife and daughter.
August 03, 2007
Three people were killed on Shaikh Zayed Road when a speeding car slammed into a tow truck, which was winching up a van that had broken down. The force of the impact threw the van into the air and it landed on the operator killing him.
Compiled by Gulf News Archives