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This year, Abu Dhabi has arrested 274 people for violating traffic regulations. Should Dubai follow suit?
The results are in.
August 23, 2009 11:07 by Aarti Nagraj
A majority of our respondents believe so. Around 42 percent said that drivers in Dubai are reckless, and another 25 percent said that arresting people for traffic violations will teach some drivers in the city a lesson. Only 9 percent said that Dubai’s drivers are better than their counterparts in Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, the Dubai traffic police has been taking some action; it seized 808 licenses for various offences between January and June this year. Major General Mohammed Saif Al Zafin, director of General Department of Traffic told Khaleej Times that the police has also formed new teams to trace drivers who have accumulated violations over the years.
“Most people ignore traffic violations registered on their driving license, which can be renewed after 10 years, unlike car registrations which are renewed every year,” he said. “According to the new system, everybody needs to review their violations to avoid having their driving license seized while they are on the road.”
He added: “Motorists whose driving licenses are seized by the police (and are still found driving) will be referred on the spot to the courts, because the law bans those who have accumulated more than 24 black points from driving.”
Authorities in the UAE are also initiating road safety programs to reduce traffic violations in the country; for instance, the Salama Road Safety Public Awareness Initiative is launching the Fashionable Seatbelt Campaign after Ramadan. The idea is to distribute branded seatbelts across the country to tempt young people into wearing them.
“Young people like fashion in general,” Maytha al Habsi, the head of the initiative told The National. “Many people would love a Gucci seat belt, for example. Or a seat belt that carries the name of their preferred football team. Also, Emiratis like so much to carry their national flag.”
“It may very well be that fashion is the way to go. Maybe this would encourage them to wear it,” she added.
The Salama Initiative is also launching a campaign that focuses on the “guilt factor.” It targets youngsters and illustrates to them the emotional distress their families will endure if they kill themselves on the road.
However, some of Kipp’s poll respondents believe none of these measures may affect bad drivers; 24 percent said that even arresting some drivers in Dubai will not change their poor driving habits.