Supplied pics

Sharjah: On the final day of the ‘Shell GoldStar Contest’, which rewards safe road users, 10 motorists in Sharjah each won Dh1,000 and a certificate on Wednesday.

The three-day road safety campaign concluded after awarding a total of 30 road users in Dubai and Sharjah.

On Wednesday, Ethiopian housemaid Messeret Furgassa was initially apprehensive when she was asked to pull over near Al Ezra Park in Sharjah. “I didn’t know what it was about. When they told me I’m being rewarded for safe driving, I was very happy. I’ll gift the prize money to my mum back home,” she said.

Another motorist, Egyptian legal consultant Ahmad Nofal, had noticed Sharjah Police patrols behind him as he pulled into Kuwaiti Hospital for an appointment, where he was stopped.

“I was kind of scared because I haven’t been stopped by police before. When I stepped out of the car, the officer told me he appreciated the way I had been driving, and that’s why they gave me this prize. It was a big surprise for me,” said Nofal, 63, who does not have any traffic violations.

Also in the hospital’s parking lot, Indian medical coder M. Kiran Kumar Goud was dropping off a friend. “I thought I may have parked wrongly because I saw police gesturing me to park in front of them, or maybe it was a random check to see driver’s papers. They said they had been following me for a while – and I was a good driver. I was so happy,” Goud, 39, said.

“I have no fines, I always drive safely. I want to buy a gift for my baby boy and girl with the prize money.”

Roshanara Sait, director of Ciel Marketing & Events and founder of Shell GoldStar Contest, said: “So often we read of terrible accidents which could have well been avoided. We need to keep working aggressively to highlight the effects of road safety. It is critical to inculcate an environment where diligent road safety habits are not enforced but must become a natural part of road user behaviour. Education and awareness is key to such campaigns for long term results, and we have developed our activities to reach out to the maximum number of road users.”

The Shell GoldStar Contest rewards cash prizes to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists who follow good safety habits. Drivers are selected for following a variety of road safety practices, such as using seatbelts, staying off the phone while driving, lane discipline, using child safety seats, using indicators and observing speed limits.

The contest was held for a second time this year, after the first round in April. It is brought by Shell in conjunction with Dubai’s RTA, Sharjah Police and Ciel Marketing & Events. The campaign is also supported by Oman Insurance, Porsche Centre Dubai, Gulf News, Friday magazine and Wheels magazine.