Shaikh Zayed Road, Dubai Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: With fewer vehicles on the streets because of the community quarantine, a road safety advocate has advised motorists who have to venture out for essential services not to overspeed.

Speaking to Gulf News, Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafety UAE, said: “We have observed reduced road traffic in recent days and weeks. From a ‘pure road safety perspective’, this is good news, as fewer cars on the roads reduce the stress levels which often lead to irrational and reckless behaviour.”

“Less traffic means less congestion and this is definitely one of the few positives during these difficult times. The daily school runs are not there, and most of us work from home, hence we witness greatly reduced morning and afternoon/evening rush hours,” he added..

“More space on the roads, however, could lead to more careless acts,” Edelmann warned.

He explained: “Some motorists might feel it’s easier to speed now, and we know from a research project we conducted earlier, that 45 per cent of motorists in the UAE speed ‘out of habit’; while 27 per cent said ‘roads are designed for speed’ and 22 per cent overspeed to ‘test their car’s abilities’.”

These are dangerous statistics and speeding on empty roads is a temptation we must avoid, Edelmann underscored.

“Aside from overspeeding, distracted driving is among the top causes of accidents, injuries and death on UAE’s roads. Use of mobile phones behind the wheels is one of the many sources of distractions,” he added.

Edelmann underlined: “Now is the time to show the best possible behaviour on our roads.” It is as basic as using indicators while changing lanes.

“In our opinion, the overarching theme in these difficult times must be for road safety as well as for successfully combating coronavirus (COVID-19),” he concluded.

RoadSafetyUAE tips in the time of COVID-19

Show a caring attitude towards yourself and all others

We are in this together and the behaviour of every single one of us counts!

Obey the authorities, follow the rules

Show leadership by good example

Protect yourself

Protect your loved ones

Protect your community