The iftar meal packs come with traffic safety tips Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has sent several customised traffic safety awareness messages to motorists and pedestrians as part of a Ramadan campaign.

Pedestrians were urged to cross streets at designated places only. Motorists were educated about the risks of driving while tired or sleepy, especially during Ramadan when some motorists experience a drop in concentration levels due to changes in eating and sleeping habits.

Click here for Ramadan prayer timings in UAE & Gulf countries

Maitha bin Adai, CEO of Traffic and Roads Agency at RTA, said that the Agency organised an awareness campaign titled ‘Enjoy your iftar and focus on your journey’ to send educational messages to pedestrians, taxi drivers, truck drivers, and new drivers in cooperation with the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai and the Emirates General Petroleum Corporation (Emarat), Al Ansari Exchange Company, Dubai Investments, Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Insurance, and Belhasa Driving Institute.

“The Agency has set guidelines and traffic advice on the Ramadan meals supervised by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, delivered at Ramadan tents. Messages provided tips and guidance to pedestrians about the dangers of crossing the street at non-designated places, the importance of adhering to the use of pedestrian crossings, and the fine applicable to jaywalkers amounting to Dh400,” she added.

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Iftar meals

“The Agency urged the private sector to include messages in [packs for] iftar meals distributed to drivers to educate them about the dangers of driving while feeling tired or drowsy. The variation of sleeping and duty timings during Ramadan tends to impact the attention of fasting motorists, which requires more caution and attention from drivers.”

In cooperation with partners, the Traffic and Roads Agency is distributing iftar meals to Dubai taxi drivers and truck drivers, along with leaflets and tips on traffic safety and safe driving during Ramadan. As part of its Ramadan campaign, RTA is launching an awareness initiative with the Emirates Driving Institute and the Bin Yaber Driving Institute, where each person succeeding in the driving test is issued an iftar voucher bearing essential instructions on safe driving, especially during Ramadan, she said

“Most traffic accidents that occur during Ramadan are attributed to the lack of leaving a safe distance between vehicles. Drivers are advised to leave a sufficient distance between vehicles and switch on air-conditioners while driving, as hot conditions give rise to the feeling of exhaustion. The driver must maintain an upright position while seated and keep their head raised while driving.”

“Motorists are recommended to take sufficient rest before sitting behind the wheel and stop driving once they feel very tired, drowsy, or start yawning. Relaxing and resting for a short period may help the driver complete the journey safely. Once drivers hear the call for Maghrib [sunset] prayer while driving, they should stop to have a light iftar, even if it’s just a glass of water and a few dates, before resuming the journey,” she concluded.

Tips for drivers
Tips for drivers:
1. Avoid driving after having a heavy meal, especially after ending the fast.
2. Be patient when driving during Ramadan and leave a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
3. Expect congestion and allow more time to reach your destination to avoid potential stress while driving.
4. Avoid arguing with motorists who flout traffic rules, and stay in your lane.
5. Be aware that sleeping inside a vehicle with all windows closed and the A/C switched on in enclosed areas can cause suffocation and death within less than an hour.
6. If you tend to be stressed during fasting, consider leaving your vehicle and using public transport to reach your destination safely.
Source: RTA