About 8,000 awareness leaflets about safe driving are being distributed by RTA during Ramadan. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has cautioned motorists against driving while feeling exhausted or drowsy, especially during Ramadan.

RTA has prepared an awareness plan to deliver several educative messages to taxi and truck drivers by distributing to them awareness leaflets, along with iftar meals under the theme: ‘Enjoy Your Iftar and Focus on Your Way’. The campaign is run in cooperation with RTA partners Emarat, Continental Tyres, Al Ansari Exchange and Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Insurance Company.

RTA has designed awareness messages for broadcasting via social media channels, sites and messaging signs at RTA customer service centres. It also organised an initiative with driving institutes in Dubai, whereby, any trainee driver who passes the driving test was presented with an iftar voucher, along with important instructions on safe driving — especially during Ramadan. About 8,000 awareness leaflets about safe driving are being distributed during Ramadan.

A taxi driver in Dubai displays one of the awareness leaflets distributed by RTA among drivers in the emirate. Image Credit: Supplied

Need for extra caution and attention

The variations in sleep and work hours during Ramadan often tend to impact the attention of motorists who are fasting. This often affects the ability of a motorist to make the right decision at the right time. Therefore, extra caution and attention are required while driving — particularly around iftar time.

Most traffic accidents that take place during Ramadan are attributed to lack of leaving a safe distance between vehicles. Motorists are advised to leave sufficient distance between vehicles and switch on the air-conditioning in their vehicles while driving as hot weather conditions give rise to a feeling of exhaustion. A driver must be seated in an upright position while driving, with the head raised.

Motorists are also recommended to take sufficient rest before getting behind the wheel and stop driving the moment they feel tired or drowsy. Once drivers hear the call for Maghreb prayer while driving, they must stop by for a light iftar — even if it is just a glass of water and a few dates — before resuming their journey.

Revised truck timings during Ramadan

Truck movements during Ramadan are prohibited on E11 Road from Sharjah border to the seventh interchange of Sheikh Zayed Road (via Ittihad Road, Sheikh Rashid Road and Sheikh Zayed Road).

Truck movements are prohibited in the downtown areas of Deira and Bur Dubai from 7am to 11pm, instead of 6am to 10pm. The timings will also be modified in the morning on certain roads where three prohibited timings apply per day. Accordingly, the prohibited timings will be from 7.30am to 9.30am, instead of 6.30am to 8.30am, and from 2pm to 4pm, instead of 1pm to 3pm. The movement of trucks is prohibited throughout the year through Al Shindagha Tunnel, on Al Maktoum Bridge, Floating Bridge, Al Garhoud Bridge, Business Bay Bridge, Infinity Bridge and in the Airport Tunnel. On Fridays, the prohibited timings during Ramadan will be from 12 noon to 3pm, instead of 1pm to 3pm.

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Safe-driving tips:

1. Avoid driving after a heavy meal, especially after fasting.

2. Be patient when driving during Ramadan; leave a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.

3. Expect congestion and allow yourself more time to reach your destination in order to avoid potential stress during driving.

4. Avoid arguing with other motorists and stick to your lane.

5. Remember, sleeping inside a vehicle while keeping all windows closed and the A/C switched can cause suffocation and death within less than an hour?

6. If you are a kind of person who tends to be stressed during fasting, better leave your vehicle and use public transport to reach your destination safely.