Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dangerous driving is universal

The one advantage of being in Dubai during the worst of the summer weather is that half the population is on holiday avoiding it. That means the notorious traffic is thinner than normal with roads easy to drive along, no jams that I've met and parking space available.

It's not all good news though. This year there's a problem due to Ramadan, with drivers stressed out having not had a drink, a bite to eat or a cigarette for fifteen hours, dashing home for Iftar, the fast-breaking meal at sunset.

There is, too, the perennial problem of bad and dangerous drivers anyway. Thankfully at least there are less of them at this time of year.

The problems are highlighted in two articles in this morning's Gulf News.

The first is headlined: 'Iftar rush leads to 441 crashes'.

BTW, I'm pleased to see that they're using the word 'crash' rather than 'accident' - something I nagged about over the years on my Life in Dubai  blog.

In the three weeks since the beginning of Ramadan there have been 441 crashes between 6.30 and 7.30 pm.

Dubai Police's Brigadier General Omar Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, Director of Command & Control Room at the Department of Operations summed it up well:
"During this one particular hour before and after iftar, people tend to drive very fast and recklessly, do not leave sufficient distance between vehicles, do not stay in their lane and overall have poor concentration on the roads."

The second article gives a good idea of the levels of dangerous driving we're exposed to and the fact that dangerous driving knows no gender or national boundaries.

Traffic stats have been released for the second quarter of this year and they show the ranking for fines.

Top of the list is a woman, a Bangladeshi, who racked up AED201,140 in fines, most for speeding. That's about A$50,000. In three months. About three offences a day! Solidly, for three months.

The silver medal also goes to a woman, a Syrian, who managed even more offences at 288 and fines totalling AED186,900 (nearly A$47,000).

The men then came into their own, an Egyptian with AED169,420 (A$42,000),  an Indian with AED137,400 (a$34,000) and an Iraqi with AED135,100 (A$33,000).

The original articles are here:
Iftar crashes.
Traffic offences.



Interesting that there are no Emiratis in the traffic stats. Now why do you think that is?

Seabee said...

Like the 'Europeans' Brad, they're careful drivers who obey traffic rules ;-)

The list only gives the top five. I bet the other nationalities are well represented further down the list.