Dubai: The UAE is making good progress in increasing road safety and in reducing the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities on our roads. In the last 10 years the number of fatalities could be reduced by 50 per cent to 525 in 2017.
But several studies conducted prove the fact that UAE motorists perceive high levels of dangerous driving and the lack of consideration for others. Behaviour studies linked to the main killers on our roads uncovered a lot of potential for improvement to increase the safety of motorists, passengers and other road users.
We asked ourselves what is the UAE driving culture, or better even: what should a positive UAE driving culture be? We listened to many stakeholders involved in increasing road safety in our country.
Over and over again the lack of a positive road culture was lamented. Based on available statistics about the main killers on our roads and on globally recognised pillars of road safety, we formalised our view of the ’10 Golden Rules’ for the desired positive UAE driving culture.
We were not shy in using the words Golden Rules, as road traffic fatalities are an area of national priority (‘UAE Vision 2021’), and are recognised as the No 2 killer in the UAE overall, and the No 1 killer for kids below the age of 15 years. We need to change our driving culture with a sense of significant importance and urgency.
Here are the 10 Golden Rules:
1. Caring, polite behaviour: Treat others like you want to be treated!
2. Wear seat belts: Everyone and always
3. Drive defensively: Avoid taking risks
4. No distractions
5. No tailgating: Always keep proper distance from the vehicle in front, in all weather conditions
6. No speeding: Start every trip 10 minutes early
7. Use the indicator: Timely and before every manoeuvre
8. No driving under the influence, never
9. Care for pedestrians and weaker road users
10. Teach kids: Parents, nurseries, schools and universities must protect kids of today and nurture the next generation of caring and safe traffic participants.
- The writer is managing director, RoadSafety UAE