Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Police believe Aya, pictured here with her cousin, was speeding when her sports car struck the kerb and flipped over. Courtesy Nader Farhat
Police believe Aya, pictured here with her cousin, was speeding when her sports car struck the kerb and flipped over. Courtesy Nader Farhat

Don't phone and drive, Abu Dhabi students urged

The Yasalam Responsibly bus is visiting schools across Abu Dhabi as police conduct road safety campaigns in the emirate where one person dies in a road accident every 26 hours.

ABU DHABI // One person is killed in a road accident every 26 hours and another injured every 54 minutes in the emirate, according to Abu Dhabi Police.

To help reduce this, campaigners from the Yasalam Responsibly safe-driving initiative demonstrated safety rules, precautions and safe pedestrian crossing at Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed School.

Students were urged to avoid using mobile phones while driving.

The double-decker Yasalam Responsibly bus, fitted with simulators and "info-tainment" screens, parked at the school and pupils queued to play the educational games on offer.

The session informed students that the estimated cost to the community of road injuries is Dh3.55 billion per year.

Police said more than 50 per cent of collisions involve drivers with less than five years' experience.

Worldwide, the use of mobile phones causes more than 20 per cent of road accidents.

The campaign bus, which has promoted the programme for the past three weeks, has visited five universities and schools so far, with six to seven more visits scheduled before the end of the month.

Educational tools include games about fatalities, safety rules and driving in bad weather.

"Mobile phones are one of the leading causes of road accidents in the UAE, especially among the younger generation," said Brig Hussain Ahmed Al Harthy, from Abu Dhabi Police. "It is important to emphasise that it is the passengers' duty as much as the drivers themselves - you should not let your friends get away with irresponsible behaviour."

Muna Khallassi, general trainer at the Emirates Driving Company, engaged students in an interactive session, offering lessons about safe driving, speeding and driving without a seat belt.

Most students interviewed were between the ages of 15 and 17 and said they drove their parents' cars without a driving licence. One had been in a previous accident.

Pedestrian deaths represent 25 per cent of road fatalities. Ms Khallassi asked students to be careful when walking and to use designated crossings. She also emphasised the importance of a seat belt.

"You are 50 per cent more likely to be killed or suffer serious injuries if you are not wearing your seat belts. Wear it across the chest, making sure it's not twisted."

Ms Khallassi posed questions to the pupils and reminded them to take the weather into account.

Saif Al Yaasi, 16, said: "Sometimes I drive my dad's car in the Mushrif vicinity but follow all the rules. I don't have a driving licence and will apply in the coming years.

"I had a minor accident near Mushrif mosque while reversing my car and did not watch in the mirror. My car collided with the approaching bus behind me."

Abdul Aziz, 15, does not "drive but I learnt a lot from the demonstration - not to overspeed, wear seat belts, do not talk over the phone while driving".

Ali Abdullah Al Jaeidi, 16, drives "in the desert and rarely enters the city". "I never met with an accident or any police caught me up so far," he added. "But I drive safely wearing seat belts and I follow rules."


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Shah Rukh Khan performs at the IPL Gala dinner to open IPL VII at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.

In pictures: Shah Rukh Khan stars at IPL Gala dinner in Abu Dhabi

The superstar entertainer Shah Rukh Khan on stage last night at a gala dinner to launch the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

No words can describe this April 17, your captions will

Have a catchy caption for this picture. Share it with us and we might publish it and reward you.

 When this 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s in New York on June 17, it is expected to attract a world record bid for a single stamp of up to $20 million (Dh73.4m). Courtesy Sotheby’s

Rare 1856 stamp up for auction at Sotheby’s

This is one of the world’s rarest stamps and when it goes up for auction in June it should fetch $20million. Its history since it was issued in 1856 is fascinating – and includes one murderous chapter, as Jonathan Gornall reports

 This Dh17,000 Miele system can prepare your choice of coffee - from capuccino to espresso - at a touch of a button. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Miele puts art in coffee making

Miele has devoted itself to the art of preparing the black liquid with its beautifully designed coffee machines, living up to its mantra of turning kitchens into cafés.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National