By Gavin Davids
Traffic campaign to educate public about defensive driving and high risk road behaviour.
UAE police have announced that they will launch an anti tailgating campaign on Sunday, Jan 24, 2010. The campaign will educate motorists of the dangers of the practice, which causes the majority of rear end collisions.
In a press release, the Abu Dhabi police said that their call for impatient drivers to leave adequate space between vehicles would help stop fatal accidents and pile ups.
Speaking to The National newspaper, major general Nasser al Nuaimi, secretary general for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, said that road intimidation caused drivers to speed and make errors that could kill them.
He stressed the importance of traffic campaigns in educating the public about defensive driving and creating awareness of high risk road behaviour, stressing that traffic safety is “the responsibility of everyone.”
The campaign will see police patrolling the capital in undercover taxis, lorries and unmarked sedans as they keep an eye out for speeding drivers and tailgaters who honk and flash their lights at cars.
Drivers caught offending will be charged fines of up to Dh 400, with the option for four black demerit points being added to their license.
Traffic authorities said that drivers should take into account travel distances between cars in the same lane. A driver should be able to have enough reaction time to be able to perceive a hazard and respond to it.
They added that a travel distance of less than two seconds behind another vehicle could be dangerous, especially if the other driver is tired, elderly or distracted, as this would delay their reaction times.
The traffic authorities also suggested that an adequate space cushion always be maintained around vehicles to give drivers a better view of the road.
They said that this would help lengthen reaction times in conditions when tyres may not respond as effectively, such as in rain or sand.
This latest campaign comes on the back of a previous 10 day campaign that was held late last year in Dubai.
Dubai Police records show that in the last year, more than 43,200 accidents took place due drivers not keeping a safe distance between vehicles.
I will beleive this when i see it... this type of driving is too heavily ingrained into the culture heer to ever change
One day is not enough. We need to realize the serious dangers of RECKLESS driving that occur all the time on all the roads here. We need serious penalties to put an end to the reckless attitude of those who endanger the lives of others. This is not a thrill ride, nor is it a race. Enough.
I will gladly tailgate and harass the living daylights out of ANYONE who dares to drive 60 or 80 on the left lane, even if in fact the speed limit is 60 or 80. Man, woman or senior citizen: do NOT drive on the left lane if you are not going fast enough to pass other vehicles. Want to go slow? use the other lanes. Left lane is the Passing Lane, how are people supposed to 'pass' others if there is a moron driving 60 on it? Frankly, ive very rarely seen anyone tailgate at any lane other than the left one.
Driving habits won't change until the police changes its policy of selective enforcement. Why is it that when you are pulled over, the first thing they ask you is your nationality?
Science has explained that aggressive drivers typically suffer from 'short man syndrome'; a feeling of low self-esteem due to small stature or obesity or other such conditions that make one fearful of being aggressive towards others directly (due to the likelihood of being on the wrong end of any injuries that might result). The motor car gives such individuals a feeling of physical power that having been acquired suddenly, they have not grown up learning to use it wisely; furthermore, hormonal issues can come to the fore in young males who are unable to attract suitable mates due to the poor physical attributes of 'short man syndrome'. These combined can lead certain males to make up for their lack of physical presence and low self-esteem with aggressive driving. While it will be good for the UAE police to start cracking down on these people, they should also do more to addresses the causes. More than anything, these aggressive drivers need support to address their physical shortcomings so that they eventually become normal members of society. Maybe get these fatties down the gym, which would improve their self-esteem and maybe deal with their hormonal build up too, especially if it improves their chances with the ladies.
Just because other drivers are being morons by driving very slowly in the wrong lane, you decide you want to be one too Mounir ? And even if the driver is actually doing the speed limit, you think it OK to try to crash him off the road ? For goodness sake, this machismo stuff is exactly the reason there are so many problems. Most of us left this stuff behind when we left school - "he's driving like an idiot, so I will too". And if you cause an accident Mounir by crashing into the back of the idiot in front of you, it will still be your fault !
Its heartening to see that Mounir's manners on the road are similar to his overall demeanor in his comments. Its not unexpected though. It also begins to make sense why he left Canada; good manners on the roads and equality for all must have felt nauseating
Way to go Mounir!! Way to go!! Keep up your culture.
Tail gating is the single worst driving habit I see in Dubai. Its very common, and extremely dangerous. The people doing it aren't bright enough to realise quite how dangerous it is, else they would not be doing it - the meeting of TV show they are racing to watch isn't worth their life or that of someone else. Driving in such a way clearly indicates the ignorance and lack of skill of the driver - a good driver is aware of how long it takes to react and stop a vehicle. These tailgaters display extreme ignorance. They need education, as well as punishment. The staggering death toll on the UAE roads speaks for itself. Its around 7 times the rate in the UK per mile driven I believe. Having witnessed the driving here, its easy to see why. The problem isn't impossible to solve. There is probably a hardcore of 1-2% of drivers doing 80% of the worst driving. The police only need to change the behaviour of a small percentage of people to make the UAE a much safer place for all of us. The problem is that this hardcore of the worst drivers actually believe they are the best drivers saying things like "I have supernatural skills in a car that enable me to stop much faster than other people". Whilst laughable, these are difficult attitudes to change. You'll find few people who admit "I'm a terrible driver who has no idea how long it would take to stop my car in an emergency". So good luck to the police - they'll need it!
Flashers are a disgrace to the country and they dangerously harass people because, until now at least, they do not get into trouble. I can understand frustration if there is a solitary slow car that refuses to move over. But the flashers do it even if there is a line of cars in front all wanting to go faster - in this case they have no right to jump the queue and throw their toys out their prams. They think that if the car in front stays more than 3 metres behind the next car in front then he should move over.