Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Raja Nafees, a Pakistani driver, talks about his fears on the road In the wake of the tragic car crash in Al Ain that claimed 24 lives. Lee Hoagland / The National
Raja Nafees, a Pakistani driver, talks about his fears on the road In the wake of the tragic car crash in Al Ain that claimed 24 lives. Lee Hoagland / The National

UAE bus drivers feel unfairly blamed for crash that killed 24

UAE bus drivers speak out in the aftermath of the Al Ain collision that killed 24 labourers.

ABU DHABI // Bus drivers say they are unjustly criticised when it comes to accidents and poor road behaviour, and point the blame at other motorists.

Smaller cars speeding and lane jumping without using indicators are two of the problems that anger bus drivers who spoke with The National yesterday.

Mohammed Panwor said he had to adapt his driving to the behaviour of other motorists, particularly those behind the wheels of small vehicles “who are changing lanes very fast and driving at very fast speed”.

“That’s why I try always to be safe, to reduce my speed and keep a safe distance, otherwise I will crash because of cars stopping,” he said.

Sufyan Mandal travels on a company bus to a building site in Al Ain at 6.15am, six days a week.

“Every time we board the bus we just hand over our lives to God and the driver,” Mr Mandal said. “We have to venture out for work very early each morning.

“They drive in foggy weather conditions, which is very dangerous, but who thinks about us? We have to reach our work on time.”

Indian Singh Mamgit, 33, has been driving buses in Abu Dhabi for seven years and admits he sometimes feels unsafe because of drivers jumping lanes without signalling.

He says he carries out daily checks on lights, indicators, water and fluid levels and brakes.

But Syrian Wesam Fahd, a health and safety officer for an Abu Dhabi building company, believes intoxication could be a problem.

He said sometimes “bus drivers driving in the morning have been drinking the night before. I know one driver – he had two accidents one day.”

Raja Nafees, a Pakistani driver, said: “We drive carefully and follow the rules. We understand the cost of lives, so we do not take risk.

“Before starting I ask workers to wear seat belts. To avoid road accidents, I ask fellow drivers to just follow traffic rules and not speed up.”

Tangam, from India, said he had faith in his company’s drivers. “They are good and understand the worth of workers’ lives and drive as per the rules. They never speed up.”

ecleland@thenational.ae

anwar@thenational.ae

jbell@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 An Egyptian Orthodox Christian priest give communion during the Palm Sunday service inCairo, Egypt. Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Region in focus - April 18, 2014

The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National