Extend an arm for safety
It is commendable that the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has managed to get all schools to paint their buses yellow and refurbish these with safety features. However, one question that continues to worry me is whether the main purpose, that is the safety of children, has been achieved? The buses have a bright red "arm" with a stop sign written across in bold letters, on the left hand side. In the West, when this arm is activated, traffic on both sides comes to a standstill, until the children are on board or alight and the arm is retracted. No one breaks this rule, lest they wish to pay a hefty fine! However, I have not seen any bus driver follow this procedure here nor have I heard any rules from the RTA advising them to do this! It would be advisable if they did that.
From Ms Suzee D'Souza

Saved by sound
A recent Gulf News report about the tragic end of an Emirati man - who was burned to death following an accident caused by a reckless motorist - reminded me of a personal experience.

Recently, I was almost run over by a bus, too, which was speeding over from the other side of the road. I only escaped death because I continued to sound my car's horn and apply brakes simultaneously. My car stopped right in front of the bus.

When I informed the driver that there was a stop sign in the area, he looked at me as if I was talking about a trip to the moon. A few days ago, I witnessed a similar situation when a bus drove out from a service lane with complete disregard for the stop sign or approaching traffic.

I cannot help but wonder how these drivers - who are obviously not aware of the importance of traffic rules - could have passed a test for a driving licence. The same applies to the drivers of new taxis who drive in a reckless manner, thereby endangering the lives of other motorists.

People are constantly complaining about how difficult it is to get a driving licence, but from what I experience every day, 50 per cent of the people on the road shouldn't have one.

I feel for the families of the many innocent people who lost their lives because of unqualified and inconsiderate motorists.
From Dr Christina Amtmann
Abu Dhabi

How important is 'Your Turn'?
First of all, my sincere thanks to Gulf News for publishing Mr John P.'s letter and the reactions it received from various readers ("Just my view," Gulf News, September 11). I do not see anything worth arguing about the much-welcomed "Your Turn" page, especially since John P.'s comments are purely an individual's perspective.

However, I am not surprised that it has irritated some readers. The feedback I read is quite natural and I do not find anything strange with the letters that appear on the aforementioned page, simply because they open up a dialogue amongst the readers.

I, too, have participated in debates on certain issues, which I felt were healthy discussions and helped clarify doubts and further improve my knowledge. From the editor's part, it's impossible to ignore reader letters. Gulf News has a variety of readers with different tastes and choices.

It is up to the editor to decide whether a letter merits being published on the "Your Turn" page. Additionally, it is not possible for them to ignore any letter, as each comment is considered as important feedback, vital for the improvement and continuous growth of the newspaper.

Through the "Your Turn" page, Gulf News has managed to capture reader feelings, which is crucial to further improve the content of any newspaper. I would further state that no other newspaper dedicates so much space for reader feedback in both print and online editions, as is being done by Gulf News.

Additionally, we, the readers, must appreciate Gulf News for dedicating a full page to express ourselves through letters, pictures, complaints, community reports, short text messages and more. Let's continue our contributions and make this page more meaningful and at the same time enjoyable, too.

As a long-term reader I have personally experienced the changes that the newspaper has gone through in the past few years - I have copies of some of the old editions, particularly the letters column. I did not find anything worth triggering a debate in John P.'s letter.

Nevertheless, Gulf News chose to publish his letter, which must be appreciated. I am sure his comments would only help improve the content of my favourite newspaper!
From Mr Ramachandran Nair


Change in reservations

I'm not sure if booking airline seats well in advance is cheaper than close to the travel date. I had booked business class seats on Emirates airline in February 2009 to an Indian destination for travel early July 2009, that is, five months in advance. In April, Emirates dropped the same fare by a whopping Dh1,000 and around a fortnight to three weeks before the travel date by another Dh400. I opted to cancel the earlier booking and book afresh, because there was a considerable saving in spite of Dh200 that I lost on each cancellation.
From Mr Ajit Kini
Abu Dhabi

Editor's note: The complaint was forwarded to Emirates for comments. However, its management declined to provide an official response.