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Sun 21 Sep 2008 07:03 AM

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Dubai road deaths surge during Ramadan

Police blame drivers rushing home distracted by hunger, thirst, cigarette cravings.

Motorists are being warned to stay off Dubai’s roads as much as possible during Ramadan following a spate of accidents that have left nine people dead since the start of the holy month.

Police are blaming the surge in road deaths on drivers distracted due to hunger, thirst and cigarette cravings, rushing to get home to break the fast, UAE daily The National reported on Sunday.

“[The rise in accidents is] mainly because people are in a rush to get home after work; their mission is to get back home to eat and so this really affects the behaviour of drivers on the road, which results in accidents,” Col Saif Muhair Al-Mazrouei, the acting director of the Dubai Police Traffic Department, was quoted as saying.

“Fasting means that you cannot consume any calories, no food, no water or cigarettes, and hunger can have big effects on people, causing them to get enraged and impatient – especially smokers, who can suffer from lack of nicotine.”

In Abu Dhabi three people have died so far in September, down from 12 for the same period of Ramadan last year.

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asif Ahmed 11 years ago

It is so unfortunate that a month that was meant to be one of patience, endurance calm and peace for the sake of god has been characterized by people whose 'mission is to get back home to eat'. If you are so desperate to eat don't fast. At least you won't endanger others' lives. What's the use of just staying hungry when you just don't adhere to the values of fasting. A fasting man is supposed to be extremely patient putting other's before himself for the pleasure of god and to earn Sawab. But what do we see out there. Just the opposite. Each individual should reflect on his own behavior and judge for himself how worthwhile is his dawn to dusk starvation.

Edward 11 years ago

It’s really a petty that Ramadan is associated with driving madness. But it’s a small group with mainly fully tinted cars that are driven by people that lack social awareness. It’s a real petty because it’s a holy month and I respect the 1000’s of Muslims that are sincere. For those that change in mad drivers; I’m not sure if it because of lack of food, drinks and cigarettes… I think it has more to do with the underlying mentality issues of these individuals. The only solution is taking them of the road….

jack 11 years ago

Well said!!

KI 11 years ago

Ofcourse I agree with Edward, but lets not forget the other part of the crowd who are not fasting and enjoy the early times. They are also bunch of people who are no leass impatient to get home and rest. They should also understand that the reason Muslims need to get home is in order to pray and prepare for iftar and its vital they are not delayed, but the others can wait a little more patiently rather than get in their normal rush to be off road... We always want the other half to cooperate..so my request give others with tinted glass windows the way and let them get home first... others can afford the half hr delay by giving way..

Mike 11 years ago

KI what a load of rubbish you have written. Ifta does not come as a surpise. The timings are well known in advance, and if it is so important for these blacked out window idiots to get home in time to pray then they should set out early so there will be no need to rush and kill people with their mad driving. Furthermore if Ramadan means so much to these people then surely they would gain more credit by being the ones to move over. One last point - the vast majority of muslims in Dubai have shortened working days, many finishing around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Iftar happens around 6.30pm so why are they rushing in the first place?

Jon 11 years ago

...maybe the people with the tinted windows should start their journeys 30 minutes earlier so they don't have to drive like maniacs at sunset....? But true to form, timekeeping is appalling in this part of the world and it is always someone else's fault...

Robert 11 years ago

I thought the Hunger, thirst and other cravings were supposed to be a time to reflect on the poor and Hungry in the world and not to get fired up with anger, selfishness and the me, me, me attitude that is supposed to happen for the remainder of the year only.

Richard Honein 11 years ago

Since Ramadan started and my work timing are 9 to 3 pm. i never went home before 5:30 to 6pm because of the traffic and what you are talking about. But you think wasting 2 hours and a half waiting in a the office or in the mall being far from your family will solve the problem???

Muhammad Irfan 11 years ago

It is not Ramadan, hunger or people driving cars with tinted windows that cause the accidents. Most of the offices have almost the same time frame of opening and closing during Ramadan which sends all the vehicles at the same times to roads, which causes a lot of congestion, which finally leads to small and big accidents. I don't drive a car with tinted windows but those driving cars are not from the place, religion and race, almost 90% of private cars are having tinted windows. All the vehicles involved are not with tinted windows. so everyone should stop generalizing. finally to Mike vast majority finishes at 2 or 3 and not all of them are rushing so stop generalizing as good people exists in every race and religion and you cant say something like "The vast majority rushing and killing people with their mad driving". Start using some grey matter before you say something.

Salim ALSuwaidi 11 years ago

I dont know but some people are blaming ramadan? i know many people with tinted windows who never had an accident at all, accident occur depend on your driving 1st then the other driving. all the mad driving isn't because of fasting, if you have brain and eyes and used them correctly, u will see its all because of the heavy traffic happening now during the month of ramadan. I've made up my mind and planning around 2 or 3 month from now i will get my self a motorcycle license and will use the bike during my morning duty