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Wed 11 May 2016 12:51 PM

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Careem tells passengers: 'Buckle up or we're not driving you'

Taxi app Careem joins campaign with RoadSafetyUAE to reduce car accidents in UAE

Careem tells passengers: 'Buckle up or we're not driving you'
Christian Eid, UAE General Manager of Careem

Middle East taxi hailing app Careem has urged its drivers to refuse to take passengers who fail to do up their seatbelts.

The move is part of a joint campaign with lobby group RoadSafetyUAE to help reduce the number of road accidents across the country.

In a statement to media, Christian Eid, general manager of Careem UAE, said: “Careem has empowered its ‘Captains’ to refuse passengers who choose not to buckle up.

“In short, if you don’t buckle up, we will choose not to provide an unsafe trip. Though this might sound drastic, we hope our passengers will value their safety as much as we do and hope that our community will welcome this bold move.”

In a sideways swipe at rival transport app Uber, Eid added: “While others in the industry have been focusing more and more on providing glitz and glamour experiences such as yacht and helicopter rides, Careem is taking a more serious angle and declares May the month of passenger safety.”

The initiative follows a Careem/RoadSafetyUAE survey of people who use chauffeur services, which found only 57 percent of passengers buckle their seatbelts. The figure was described as “alarming” by the campaigners, and Careem said it would offer a temporary 25 percent discount to customers who formally pledge to do up their seatbelts.

Said Eid: “We are asking all of our customers to formally pledge to buckling up and become advocates for road safety.

“In return, we have committed to rewarding all pledgers with 25 percent discount on their next five Careem rides.”

Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE claimed that the World Health Organisation has identified car accidents as the second biggest cause of fatalities in the UAE, and the number continues to rise each year.

The 2015 World Health Organisation Global Status Report on Road Safety – based on data from 2013 – showed that there were 10.9 deaths per 100,000 motorists in the UAE.