By Elsa Baxter
Majority of people think new measures needed to improve driving standards - poll.
More than 80 percent of people think new measures should be brought in to improve driving standards on Dubai’s roads, the latest Arabian Business poll has found.
According to the online survey, 53.2 percent of people think more traffic police are needed to reduce the number of violations, like speeding and tail-gaiting, which cause accidents.
A further 20.1 percent of respondents said stricter driving tests needed to be introduced to improve motorists skills, while 8.6 percent of people said more speed cameras were the answer.
A total of 18.1 percent said nothing needed to be done because standards in Dubai “are the best in the world”.
The results follow the recent release of a shocking ‘stunt’ driving video filmed during the day on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Dubai Police impounded the two vehicles seen in the footage – one driving on two wheels and the other doing do-nut manoeuvres, where a car circles around with smoke coming from all four tyres – and arrested the owners.
The suspects are thought to be facing up to three years in prison and fines if convicted.
Driving standards across the Middle East have been under focus after a top official revealed last month that the region’s roads are the second most dangerous in the world.
Robert Marks, a senior official of International Safety Council, during a visit to Doha in Qatar, said 18 of every 100,000 people losing their lives in car crashes.
He said African roads were considered the most dangerous in the world with 24 people out of every 100,000 dying in road incidents every year.
I cannot suggest a solution but I think I know the reason why some of these drivers behave the way they do and it has been written about in these columns over the past few weeks. Example; an incident today when a blacked out 4x4 comes in from the right side and cuts across three lanes to turn left and U turn in front of the other two lanes of traffic turning left at a signal. What makes someone do that? The only reason because they do not care about anybody else but themselves and they think they have a right to do it. What these people lack is a basic understanding of good driving practice and whilst they continue to get away unpunished they will continue to drive the way they do.
It comes down to personal recognisence. If you drive safely, you are less likely to be involved in an accident - simple. Here's a solution - what about getting people qualified in advance driving - offering them cheaper insurance and other perks, creating better drivers. You could also mark their licence in a way - that way if they are caught breaking the law, they should pay a stiffer penalty. To be honest, while speeding is dangerous, there are a number of 'slow' drivers out there, who are equally dangerous - particularly women (I am a woman btw). The passing of driving tests needs to be much stricter - just because you tick all the boxes, doesn't make you a good driver, particularly if you lack confidence. The law needs to enforce talking on mobiles while driving as well - it is becoming ridiculous how many people are driving along and talking - you are just selfish when you do this.
These mini-buses/vans are used by small business for economical transport. The drivers are over worked and tend to drive fast with full of either passengers or the goods. The vehicles come with limited safety. Thus in case of emergency the accidents are fatal and involves all the passengers. Even the passengers in these mini-buses are scared but cannot tell the driver and thing.
Dubai Police is in the right track and they are doing good, they should keep up pressuring drivers to follow the roles and driving safety. People coming to Dubai are having different ethnic background with different type of driving habits which they inherited from their origin country. Locals are getting confused by all these types of different style and becoming indifferent about the rules. Dubai police should stay tough without any exception fine any faults, no matter how small or bad they are.
Traveling often to Dubai for business from the US, I always look forward to my time there and highly recommend it to others. However, the one major problem I have with Dubai is I am terrified of how people drive there, witnessing numerous accidents and treacherous driving. Some potential solutions...enfore more severe penalties, including having licenses taken away for a certain period of time. Add'l policing of the roads and mandatory drivers education for new drivers, even offering it as part of a high school extracurriculum.
Dubai drivers aren't the worst in the UAE.. Yes it can be better, but its improved significantly in the past couple of years since the speed camera's have been installed. The real issue for me is the driving in Abu Dhabi. Its a daily experience to see kids in massive 4x4 driving like they were controlling a playstation game rather than a car.