Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Another needless tragedy on the E-11

The tragic car pileup in Abu Dhabi yesterday shows that despite road safety campaigns, police patrols, and public awareness, a reckless driving culture still persists in the Emirates.

As fog settled on the E-11 motorway yesterday morning, drivers continued to thunder along at a pace that consistently endangers lives.

The tragic, almost predictable pile-up that resulted left one dead, and more than 60 wounded. Perhaps the only saving grace was that the accident occurred in the early morning, when fewer cars are on the road, allowing drivers more space to manoeuvre out of harm's way.

The accident is just another example why the World Health Organisation has included the UAE in its list of 10 countries with the most dangerous traffic conditions.

Road safety campaigns - which this newspaper have advocated for more than two years - increased police patrols and heightened public awareness have still failed to curb this kind of reckless driving. Undoubtedly, the E-11 could be improved to discourage speeding, perhaps with the installation of more flashing speed cameras, but at heart drivers have to be held responsible for their irresponsible behaviour.

Yesterday's events were a reminder of the massive E-11 accident in 2008, when more than 350 people were injured after 60 cars crashed into each other during foggy weather.

Now as then, fog is not the problem. It is the consistent disregard, whether from arrogance or ignorance, for the safety of other people on the roads. Witnesses reported yesterday that despite an inability to see further than a few metres, some cars were still speeding in excess of the 120kph limit, and some were tailgating. This is inexcusable.

These repeated incidents of carnage on the roads are personal tragedies - and a national shame. From the very beginning, driver training needs to instil the principles of defensive driving. Driving is, after all, a privilege, not a right. Most importantly, individual drivers have to take responsibility for their behaviour on the roads. If they refuse to, they must be held to account.

The Abu Dhabi-Dubai motorway is one of the nation's main arteries. It should not take another accident of this proportion to act as a wake-up call for commuters. Whether it takes more police, more speed cameras or stricter laws, drivers who disregard the safety of others should be taken off the road.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika speaks to the press after casting his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on. Former prime minister Benflis ran against Bouteflika in 2004 but lost heavily, charging the vote was rigged 10 years ago and has said fraud will be his ‘main adversary’ during the election. Patrick Baz / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world, April 17

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 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

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 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.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National