181128 hassan 2
Mohammad Hassan was pulled over by the Sharjah Police yesterday and presented the award. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Road discipline and strict adherence to traffic rules for 11 years finally paid off for Bangladeshi expat Mohammad Hassan, who was among the 10 Responsible Road Users Award winners on day two of Shell Goldstar Contest in Sharjah, on Wednesday.

Hassan, who has never received a fine in more than a decade of driving on UAE roads, was driving on Wednesday morning when he got lucky. “I was returning from Sharjah Airport after dropping my brother off. When I took the highway, I realised that a police vehicle was following me, I ignored it for a few minutes, but when I saw that the police continued to follow me, I got worried. Then, they flashed a light at me from behind, prompting me stop. I thought I had done something wrong, but thankfully it was about the award,” said Hassan, a salesman based in Fujairah for 18 years.

The 34-year-old said that he always follows traffic rules, which has ensured he not only stayed fine-free but also safe from road accidents.

Another winner of the award is 19-year-old Emirati student Khalid Jamal, who was on his way to class at Sharjah University, when a police vehicle indicated to him to pull over.

“I was curious. I am usually very safe and was sure I didn’t make any mistakes, so when the police stopped me I was a bit confused. I was expecting a fine, but what I got was a reward,” Jamal.

The young driver said that the award is an encouragement to drive safe and will work as a reminder to follow road rules.

Another safe driver who was recognised for his discipline on Wednesday was Emirati Nasir Ahmad Abdullah.

Speaking to Gulf News, the mechanical engineer, 24, said that he rarely gets any fine as he drives very safe.

“I follow all the rules, all the time. Even if there is no other car on the road, I use the indicator. It’s a habit that has helped me stay safe and save money on fines. Now, this award will only help me do better,” said Abdullah, who graduated recently and is looking for a job.

Promoting road safety

On day two of the road safety campaign, 10 motorists drove away with Dh1,000 each, as drivers were recognised for using seat belts, staying off the phone, lane discipline, using child safety seats, using indicators and observing speed limits.

Road users are awarded for using designated pedestrian crossings and road traffic safety practices to reduce risks associated with cycling.

The three-day road safety initiative was from November 26 to 28, across Dubai and Sharjah in collaboration with Gulf News, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai, Sharjah Police and Ciel Marketing and Events.

“As creators of the Goldstar campaign, we’re extremely proud of the impact it’s had since we instituted it over 20 years ago. Not only those who’ve won its signature on-the-spot cash prizes for good driving, but also for the many thousands of others that its message of road safety has influenced. With our partners’ support, we continue to work on keeping UAE roads safe,” said Roshanara Sait, director, Ciel Marketing and Events, and founder of the Goldstar campaign.

A total of Dh30,000 will be awarded during the three-day campaign, with 10 road users selected each day.