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A staff of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) talks to a motorist in Dubai. The authority launched numerous awareness activities for the month of Ramadan, urging drivers to observe traffic laws and respecting other road users’ rights. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has called on motorists to avoid driving while feeling exhausted or drowsy, especially during Ramadan, when the attentiveness of some motorists drops due to the change in eating and sleeping habits.

This call is made in response to the tendency for diminished concentration of some drivers due to the physical changes from fasting during this sacred month, the authority said on Thursday.

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RTA has launched an awareness campaign aimed at providing important driving tips throughout Ramadan, which is part of its annual traffic awareness activities based on Dubai’s traffic safety strategy.

A study commissioned by the German Road Safety Council published in 2020 revealed that a five-second doze-off behind the wheel is akin to driving blind for over 180 metres or more.

Awareness messages

In collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and other traffic safety stakeholders in Dubai, RTA approved numerous awareness activities for the month of Ramadan. The objective is to disseminate safety and guidance messages to the widest audience possible. These messages will be spread through various channels, including field activities and social media platforms of RTA and traffic awareness stakeholders.

RTA printed banners at the entrances of iftar tents scattered across Dubai carrying awareness messages to both pedestrians and drivers. Thousands of awareness leaflets have also been printed and included with iftar meals distributed to target groups such as Dubai taxi and public bus drivers, truck drivers, and other road users.

These measures were taken in partnership with various government and private entities.

The campaign’s messages during Ramadan are designed to highlight the critical need for drivers to always maintain concentration, especially during Ramadan, due to the change in sleep and work routines affecting fasting individuals.

This is particularly evident when employees are returning from work, a time when concentration drops to a minimal level, impacting drivers’ decision-making abilities. As such, there is a need for heightened caution and vigilance while driving during Ramadan.

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The RTA has called on drivers to manage their schedules to ensure they are well-rested before driving. In cases where drivers feel sleepy or fatigued, they should stop at a safe location to rest before continuing their journey, it said. Image Credit: Supplied

Additionally, RTA called on motorists to maintain a safe distance between vehicles and remain alert of others’ driving errors to safely avoid them and wished them accepted fasting and safe journeys.

Timings of truck ban in Ramadan

Timings of ban on trucks on key routes and areas within Dubai are being adjusted during Ramadan.

On the E11 corridor extending from the Sharjah border to Interchange No. 7 on Sheikh Zayed Road passing along Al Ittihad Street, Sheikh Rashid Street, and Sheikh Zayed Road, as well as the central areas of Deira and Bur Dubai, the revised truck ban timings for these areas will be from 7am to 11pm, instead of the 6am to 10pm schedule.

RTA has also modified the truck ban timings during the morning across the streets where the ban is enforced three times a day.

The new timings will be from 7.30am to 9.30am, instead of the 6.30am to 8.30am schedule. The afternoon ban will be from 2pm o 4pm from the usual 1pm to 3pm.

Truck movement will continue to be restricted throughout the year in Al Shindagha Tunnel, Al Maktoum Bridge, the Floating Bridge, Al Garhoud Bridge, the Business Bay Bridge, the Infinity Bridge, and the Airport Tunnel.

For Fridays during Ramadan, the truck ban will be in effect from 12 noon to 3pm instead of 1pm to 3pm.

Tips for Drivers:

  • Avoid driving immediately after consuming a large meal, particularly after fasting.
  • Exercise patience while driving during Ramadan, and ensure you maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
  • Anticipate congestion by allocating extra time for travel to avoid stress during driving.
  • Refrain from engaging in disputes with motorists who disregard traffic rules; focus on staying in your lane.
  • Be aware that sleeping in a car with all windows closed and the air conditioning on in enclosed spaces can lead to suffocation in less than an hour.
  • If fasting significantly affects your concentration or increases your stress, opting for public transportation could be a safer way to reach your destination.