Dubai’s deadly drink-driving
A recent report suggests Indians are the most frequent drunk drivers in Dubai. Kipp isn’t surprised, but singling out one ethnic group won’t solve the problem.
October 18, 2010 2:11 by shafeer
Road fatalities are one of Dubai’s major problems. In fact, road accidents are the plot of choice for a series of local films; Young UAE based director Mohammed Mamdouh’s first two films Hit and Run and An Emirati Dilemma both revolved around the issue of the fatal driving habits of UAE residents.
You don’t really need to step into a cinema, though, to be aware of the issue. Simply driving down Sheikh Zayed road is enough to induce megalomaniac road rage in even the calmest of drivers, as Kipp has noted a number of times. But while, at the time, it seems as though nothing could be worse than driving home from work, driving late at night during the weekend is worse. Put simply, too many drivers have over-indulged with alcohol, when they shouldn’t indulge at all if they’re driving..
Despite the zero tolerance policy of Dubai Police, there are still a considerable number of casualties resulting from drunk driving in the city. Emirates 24/7 reports that “latest statistics from the Dubai Traffic Police reveal that 63 people were injured in accidents related to driving under the influence of alcohol” in the first nine months of the year.
The statistics also show that 39 percent of the offending drivers are Indian, with Emiratis coming next on the list with a share of 13.6 percent, and Filipinos coming in third with 10.5 percent.
The article was titled “Indians top drive-drinking offenders list in Dubai.” This is no great shock for Kipp, since Indians make up the largest ethnic group in Dubai, with recent estimates putting their number at 1.75 million. It’s a classic case of elementary probability. Perhaps the more significant news is that one of the UAE’s smallest ethnic groups came in second in the list.
But all this blame game misses the larger point: there is an unacceptable culture of drink-driving in Dubai, and we all know it. All of society must tackle it, not just one ethnic group.
What do you think? Do Indians deserve to be singled out? What needs to be done to prevent drink-driving?