My National

My National

How's this for a UAE New Year's resolution: no more sleeping while driving

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Every new year I come up with a new set of resolutions, and every year I end up accomplishing none!

Well, nearly none. Last year one of my resolutions was to graduate with a 3.0 GPA and thankfully that was accomplished. But another one was to read 100 books in 2012.

Thinking I could do it, I set up an account on Good Reads (a social networking website where one can search and review books), but shocked myself by reading only 18 books in the entire year!

What’s my new year resolution for 2013? Read more than 20 books – after that I’ll set my sights on 100.

As a journalist – with a certain infamy among my colleagues for my allegedly crazy motoring habits – I was recently tasked with finding Emirati drivers who were making their own new year resolutions regarding their driving skills – and in particular the number of speeding fines they received.

Finding people to talk to is by far the hardest part of my job. In this case, I had to resort to social networking sites to find them. I found two women on Twitter, but one gave me such a hard time with ridiculous questions and never ending facts that I gave up on her. Her questions were mainly personal, probably because she couldn’t believe I’m an Emirati who chose journalism as a career.

She also thought she was going to be on TV, despite my repeated explanations that the interview was for a newspaper, and I think that was another reason why she changed her mind.

Next up, I tried Instagram, posting twice that I needed people’s input. Sadly I got no more than three responses.

Of thirty people I asked to interview, I contacted four on Instagram and one on Twitter. Luckily, through their friends, and friends of friends, I finally had enough interviewees.

Some of their resolutions were almost frightening – one said he would try not to sleep while driving, while another said he would try to stop getting into a rage at other drivers’ mistakes. A popular resolution involved getting less speeding tickets, though many drivers seemed to think they were already doing a pretty good job on the road, and didn’t need to change anything.

But one man’s response gave me greater hope for the new year. He suggested there should be school courses and campaigns teaching future drivers the importance of keeping to speed limits, paying attention to road signs and the importance of wearing seatbelts.

This suggestion could solve a lot of the issues we are having nowadays. Education is always better than trying to enforce a law, especially when so many do not understand why said law needs enforcing.

As for me, my new year driving resolution is to try and be more careful on the road, and to  reign in my impulse to race everyone. Let’s see how that goes.

 

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