By Andy Sambidge
Second minibus death crash in a week on Dubai roads, driver remains in police custody.
Two people died and 15 others sustained injuries in a horrific crash involving a minibus on Emirates Road in Dubai on Wednesday evening.A Bangladeshi man was among the dead while the Pakistani driver of the minibus suffered serious injuries.
In total, there were eight Bangladeshi, five Indians and two unidentified passengers involved in the incident, which happened at 5.40pm close to the bridge opposite the vegetable market, reported the Gulf News on Thursday.
This is the second accident involving a minibus in less than a week.
Five people were killed and four others had sustained injuries in an earlier accident on Sheikh Rashide Road on Sunday after the minibus swerved, hit the pavement in the middle of the road, flew to the opposite side of the road and had a head-on collision with another car.
Speaking about Wednesday's tragedy, police chiefs said the minibus was overloaded with passengers, as there were 15 passengers on board when there should be only 14.
The minibus was coming from Jebel Ali going toward Sharjah when the driver lost control, the bus swerved and hit the concrete barrier in the middle of the road, careered into the opposite side of the road, turned over and finished in the fast lane.
The driver is in custody and his blood sample will be taken for test.
Earlier this week, Arabian Business readers - taking part in an online poll - called for minibuses to be restricted to the slow lanes in Gulf cities in a bid to reduce the number of crashes involving them.
Eighty percent of respondents also said that strict speed restrictions on buses and minibuses needed to be introduced.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
As a frequent road user I would like to highlight few facts about the mini bus drivers as follows. 1. The driver with category 3 is allowed to drive a mini bus but there is a big difference in driving a saloon or SUV from driving a mini bus. 2. The mini bus driver tries to drive as if he drives a saloon forgetting about the stability of the vehicle and ends up loosing control into accidents. I would suggest there should be a separate evaluation for the mini bus drivers. All the mini bus drivers should undergo more rigorous training to drive as its a question of more lives.
Someone in high authority please seriously look into making Dubai roads safe for traffic. This is only possible when car drivers are given high penalties for traffic violence and even strict punishments for truck, buses and mini bus drivers. These drivers always speed, change lanes and drive recklessly, i have good examples of witnessing such incidences daily on Dubai bypass road and Jebel Ali Lahbab road. Many times on Emirates road as well. Maturity in all drivers is a must, thereafter courtesy on road is equally important. Hope some solution to this will come in the picture soon.
The first accident had been very devastating. I work in the same building and the memory of the ones we lost, constantly wanders around us. All in the building affected by that. And yet another accident! When will it end, no one knows and I believe it's an everyday scene. Again another day, and the same story. Companies send their employees - who are not as fortunate as I am to drive their own car and own their own accommodation - in the same so called mini-buses and sometime buses! For the start, these are not minibuses. These are vans. They are not designed for long distances and definitely not for 120km/h, not even 80km/h. They are not safe. They hardly have safety belt. A minibus shall at least contain 18 passengers. This is outrageous. These vehicles shouldnâ€™t be used for such purposes. Now that they are using it, why does no one hold the safety officers of the companies (IF they care to have one) accountable for not inspecting the vehicles before leaving the site, so there wouldn't be 15 passengers instead of 14! and yet it is called overloaded. It's just depressing to see all these accidents and the lessons are not learnt. It's like a vicious circle that goes round and round and it never ends. You have no idea how great the people who died Sunday were. No matter what, no matter how unpleasant we were in the building, they never ever stopped smiling. They never complained about life, although the only thing that they could do in the weekend was laundry! Still they were like happiest people in the world. It's a shame that such great people are not among us anymore. They could be here with a bit of care.
I can't seem to understand why do minibuses on UAE roads speed! I have observed over 50 mini buses in the last one week on Sheikh Zayed Road speeding at over 140km/h. They also drive on the fast lane and flash lights to the cars in front of them who are only speeding about 100km/h. Even when Mini Buses are on the slow lane, I see them driving at a speed of over 120km/h. Its funny and strange, but at one point in time I did observe one mini bus driver flashing a Ferrari to move out of his way, and funny enough, the Ferrari did move away in order to avoid the speeding mini bus driver. Something has to be done about this and maybe impose speed limits on Mini Bus on all roads of Dubai.
This is ridiculous. One solution is to restrict the speed limit of these van. They have too much power, and that's understandable, because of the number of passengers on board, however if every van gets a restricted speed limit of 80, it will force them to drive at a controlled speed. Public Transportation buses in Canada are limited to 90 km/hr.
A quantitative survey of van drivers involved in accidents that reveals their nationality and age may reveal something about undesirable traits of the drivers.
Authorities in Dubai kinda not as strict as Abu Dhabi. Why don't we see high violation for traffic in Abu Dhabi as much as we see in Dubai? Authorities in Dubai will apply new law for traffic, but Still people will disobey the traffic law. In Abu Dhabi for example you rarely see people speeding or crossing right signal, but in dubai i see in some areas people still cross red signal, speeding and other things because they were in a traffic for about 1 Hour when they should only be in this traffic for 20min only. I think the whole traffic law for Buses should be looked at because these drivers are driving unsafely, maybe they learn the driving and drive perfect in the test but after, they go crazy. I still think Dubai Police can't do anything to this issue.
As a frequent road user I would like to ask for how long these drivers have had their licences. Maybe less then one year. In Oman some company vans and minibuses have a speed limiter of 80 kmh and they are allowed only on the most right lane. After a trial period of some time and have driving experience, they can get a normal bus without speedlimiter. Since that ruling, much less accidents happen.
It is high time that all Bus Drivers, especially Mini Bus Drivers, were tested and if acceptable issued a Public Service Driver License A high proportion on Mini Bus will overtake you on the road at speeds well over the Legal Limit and well above the safe speed for the vehicles. The vehicles should be fitted with a speed limiter. At the moment, most of these drivers are an accident waiting to happen.
Apart from the fact that this might spoil the 'fun' of those in authority when they are driving - Why are governors not fitted to ALL vehicles in the UAE? Possible limitations: Large buses and all lorries 90km/h Pick ups and mini buses etc 100km/h Saloons, 4x4s SUVs etc 120km/h Heavy penalties if governors tampered with. It is now not only a male testosterone thing as evidenced by the number of 'ladettes' (mainly expat women - not ladies) driving improperly. The immature and ultra-fast marque cars can use up their adrenaline on Dubai autodrome or similar circuit, with the blessing of the authorities (entirely at the drivers' own risk but not their insurance company). One other thing - as a previous post said - TRAIN the police to know what is right and wrong and see if they can actually put it into practice - that would be novel.