By Neeraj Gangal
Women identified as frequent culprits of driving too slow - interior ministry.
Women driving too slowly are causing accidents and traffic jams and can lead to as many problems on the roads as speeding drivers, the Ministry of Interior said, according to a report on Saturday.
While the vast majority of road accidents are caused by men, the Ministry said on Friday that this was “despite [women] driving their vehicles at a very slow speed”, according to The National daily.
It added that the Ministry released on Friday, the findings from an investigation titled Soft Driving: Confusing for Others, or a Model?
According to the study, 2,916 of the 3,172 traffic accidents recorded last year in the capital were caused by men almost 92 per cent.
Just 256 accidents were caused by women drivers. The term “soft driving” refers to female motorists, The National said.
According to the findings, 135 fines were meted out for driving below the minimum speed limit on highways and inner-city roads last year.
“Slow motorists cause accidents when frustrated commuters, perhaps anxious to get to school or work on clogged roads, try to overtake lagging vehicles, the Ministry said, with women apparently being identified as frequent culprits,” The National said.
However, despite the investigation’s claim that women are often slow drivers, Jihad Sebeitah, the general manager of Emirates Driving Company, said in a joint statement with the Ministry that “there is no male driving or female driving, but there are common behaviours”.
He added: “Some say that males are more rushed and have an adventurous spirit, whereas females are by nature less rushed and more deliberate.” However, driving rules are the same for men and women, Sebeitah said.
The report emphaised the dangers of slow driving, chastising those who often delay other motorists in the middle or left lanes, “preventing them from reaching work on time, and putting them at risk of accidents while attempting to overtake cars that are travelling slowly, particularly on outer roads”.
“There are general guidelines for road users, male or female,” Col Hamad al Shamsi, the head of the Abu Dhabi Police Traffic Department said.
The official called on slow drivers to use the right lane, particularly on highways.
Mahmoud Abdul Qader, a researcher at Abu Dhabi Police’s Centre for Research and Security Studies said that driving slowly on the left or centre lanes is a violation because it causes congestion, and at dangerously slow speeds it is difficult to avoid accidents.
According to The National, Qader said that slow drivers in these lanes, particularly on highways, increase the risks of rear-end collisions and crashes among vehicles trying to overtake them.
Motorists involved in minor accidents in Abu Dhabi will be charged AED200 less from January 2010, it was announced last month.
Currently, motorists involved in accidents in the UAE capital are charged AED500 ($136) for the services of Saaed, a company assigned to handle accidents in the emirate.
However, from 2010 the charge will be reduced to AED300 ($81.6), according to the WAM news agency.
What a bizarre comment Mr Minister of Interior! Women statistically are safer drivers than men, because they have lower testosterone levels and they have smaller ego's. It's that simple. What causes accidents here in the UAE is the sheer lack of respect for human life because "we are assured we will all go to heaven" idea prevails and most people here have only driven in areas such as this where there is no courtesy, nor respect and third world driving is the norm. You have accidents here not because of the women but because of the boys in fast cars who are ignorant and egotistical, a very dangerous mix.
I distinctly remember that a few months ago, actually maybe half year approx, there was a taskforce of police monitoring driving on SZR. And they said something like over 60% of the most aggressive drivers they monitored were in fact women. So for sure I would not begrudge women drivers in the UAE of being too slow at all. What you can say i suppose are alot seem to have children in the back and are therefore more cautious and their caution is being slower and this is frustrating for other drivers. They also tend to not pay too much attention to those behind them, by not really looking in their rear view mirrors, therefore don't even realise much that they are creating any problems. They need to be more attentive to those around them shall we say
I have been in the UAE for only 18 months and in that time I've lost count of the comments about something being done about bad driving but very little changes! One of the key areas touched on in the article is slower drivers on the highway keeping in the 2nd left lane, with lanes to the right empty! These drivers seem to think they are driving well but don't realise that if I'm doing a few mph more I have to pull into the left lane to overtake where I get other cars racing up to my back bumper, lights flashing, at 140+, and this is where the accidents happen. Only last week I was almost pushed out my lane on the Abu Dhabi Highway by such an impatient driver. I keep over as far to the right as I can but I believe its dangerous to 'under-take'! While speed is a killer, a bigger killer is dangerous driving which is prevalent here but as a former UK Policeman I know its easier to deal with speed than dangerous driving. While I applaud any attempts by the authorities I would ask that they look at this (and the media) to promote safer driving (such as "Keep Right" and "Keep a Safe Distance". As a final point I would add that the published photograph suggests that Emirati women are slow drivers which, from experience, would be an unfair assumption! Wrong gender, wrong nationality! Lets all work to make the roads safer!?
"equally"? you mean for every statistic of an accident due to overspeeding or reckless driving is another statistic of an accident due to slow-driving motorists? COME ON...
From my obsevations here in the UAE I am assuming that "TOO SLOW" in this article equals 'sticking to the speed limit'! I can be driving at 120 km/h and this is considered 'slow' by many many drivers. Slow driving is not the cause of accidents, it's the reckless overtaking endemic in the UAE.
Firstly to answer Chipo's comment - 'Too Slow' in this case, as you correctly point out, is relative. If the speed limit is 120, 100 is not necessarily 'too slow', but when drivers in this area are prone to go 150, then 100 is dangerously slow indeed! I agree with Nigel - it is important that the Media and the UAE Police (not just Dubai or Abu Dhabi) get the message across that keeping right, and keeping a safe distance are the most important factors missing in the UAE system. If a driver is coming up behing you, regardless of your speed, if there is no car to the right of you - pull over. You are obviously the slower driver and causing congestion by staying in the lane you are in. Equally, if you are going faster than drivers in front, OVERtake on the left - DON'T undertake. It is dangerous to all. This brings me to another dangerous driving habit I have noticed in Abu Dhabi specifically - Truck drivers pushing others in the slow lane over to the hard shoulder because they are 'not allowed' to overtake (i.e. they will get fined by police if they are in anything other than the slow lane). This makes no sense and is potentially extremely dangerous. The hard shoulder is for emergencies only (not undertaking and overtaking as seen often on the left lane as well!), and is often the resting place of road hazards such as nails, broken glass, bits of tyres, etc. If a car or a truck has a blowout here, they will then have no where to go and potentially swerve back into the road traffic! And heaven forbid that a car or truck may actually be in the emergency lane FOR an emergency, at standstill - what happens then when a truck suddenly uses the hard shoulder to let another pass? Abu Dhabi Police... Instruct these truck drivers properly please! Clear road regulations and clear road signage to inform people of the rules are what is missing in this country! If we had them, the police could actually concentrate on more important tasks!
On the Motorway KEEP RIGHT UNLESS OVERTAKING wright it in Arabic, Hindi, Urudu as well. The speed "allowed" from AD to Dubai is 160 - I have the email from the police. The signs say 100-120. So we have or newly arrived driver, sitting on 110, in the far-lefthand lane, concentrating/talking/on the phone/oblivious - CAUSING CHAOS!!! people overtaking in emergency lane, undertaking, going bananas behind him - while he/she thinks they are doing the right thing! And the second-left-lane on a 5 lane freeway is the same thing! I drive this route 5 days a week and have done for a few years....these people either knowingly or unwittingly cause accidents. Them and the lunatics driving dangerously and excessive speed. The police should target both - but some signs on the road, run some adds on the morning radio (all languages) then get out and enforce the law, hand out a few tickets and people will work it out.
I have experienced lot on highways, people driving looking at the speed limit and stick to 100 or 80 on first and second lane of highways leaving the third foruth and fifth lance with no vehicles. And another thing to highlight on many pickups are also driving on third and fourth lances though it is restricted on these lanes causing the lanes to move very slowly sometimes. Even after informing by honking and directing them to move on to their allowed lanes people does not bother, and even one pickup driver chased me for some time flashing for asking to follow the traffic signs and move right and i have to move away from the truck soon to safer distance!!! I, wish every one follow traffic signs and speed limits and also a best traffic practise to follow by keeping right lane as much possible even when there is less traffic and leaving the first and second lanes for the rushing people to eliminate the overtaking through the right lanes can help a bit to keep traffic smooth and pleasent driving for every one.
As per road signage it is 120 but as per police e-mail it is 160. Which one is correct? May be 120 is the minimum speed limit. I agree they should educate the people!!
With all the mobile numbers the authorities must have (car registration, driver's license, Salik), it must be quite easy to reach most of the people in the UAE by SMS. Wouldn't it be a good idea for the Ministry to start an SMS campaign targeting some basics rules for driving more safely? I would mind a lot less receiving these SMS's than the myriad of spam SMS's I keep on receiving. This could complement sandman's suggestion, wouldn't cost much to implement, can keep running for a long time to keep reminding people and would save countless lives. I feel that a lot of these basic rules would not cost people any additional travel time, nor would they cost them any money. In fact, quite the opposite. Here's some suggestions of topics to cover (surely there's many more): 1. Stay on the right most lane unless overtaking 2. When the sun is setting, switch on your lights, even when it's not completely dark 3. When in a tunnel, switch on your lights 4. Use your seatbelts. Also for your kids, also in the back of the car 5. When lanes merge, leave some room for the next car coming from the other lane. Same on roundabouts when there's crowds. Surprisingly enough, traffic will move faster this way than pushing all the way up to the end 6. Use your fog lights when there's... fog and only then. 7. Use your emergency lights, when there's an emergency. Not in rain, fog. 8. If you miss an exit, there's another exit coming up. Do not back track on the highway (or any other road) 9. Only stop when you are allowed to stop, ie. not on the highway. The hard shoulder is not a passenger drop off point 10. Every phone comes with a headset. Connect it when you get in the car and use it. Driving is not for texting and call hands free. 11. The right order before you change lanes: a. look in your mirrors (and over your left shoulder), b. indicate, c. change lane if it's safe to do so. 12. Always indicate when changing lanes or turning into another street. 13. Anticipate! Always, all the time look what's happening in front of you close and far away. Know what's happening at the back and to your sides. When you're getting closer to your exit, start moving to the correct lane, don't wait till the last minute. Especially if you don't know exactly if you need to exit or not. Feel free to add to the list or improve the wording ;-) Mario.