Apropos the news report Busload of pupils in lucky escape (June 15), the miraculous escape from fatal injury for about 35 students and staff of Delhi Private School after their school bus collided with a full-sized bus carrying 25 passengers, should serve as a wake up call to the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) as well as to all the people who drive thinking that accidents only happen to other people.
The mutilated condition of the school bus and the mangled remains of the other bus are a grim reminder that it was sheer providence that prevented the accident from turning into a catastrophic human tragedy.
As a parent whose two children daily traverse in a school bus the 25 kilometres to Delhi Private School from Bur Dubai, I am always on tenterhooks from the time the children get into the bus in the morning until the time they are dropped off in the afternoon. The reason is the callousness with which some drivers break the most basic of traffic rules, endangering their own lives as well as the safety of other road users.
The RTA should very strictly enforce the speed limit and maintain the safe distance rule. Violators should suffer heavy financial penalties and suspension of their driving privileges.
Additionally it should be compulsory for all school buses to have seatbelts for all the occupants of the bus.
Amitabh Saxena, Dubai
Sadness over the events in Sudan
In reference to Aly Verjee's opinion article Abyei attack signals a hard border that is bad for both sides (June 10), one feels sadness and frustration at the events in my home country, Sudan, which is soon to become two countries.
Much of the blame for all these tragic events has to go to the government and its insistence on failed policies in advancing development and peace.
There have been attacks in Abyei and other border areas with a high cost in human life and the uprooting of people.
Closures and restrictions on the border with the South have resulted in shortages and increased prices, along with long-term damage to what should be a mutually beneficial relationship between the two parts of Sudan.
The government in the North has disregarded agreements signed concerning Southern Kordofan and Abuja in Darfur. It is still pretending to seek peace in Darfur.
One has to wonder where the country is heading. Rational people in the country and abroad have to find ways to deal with these issues and advance peace and development in a modern, democratic country.
Tarig Monim, Dubai
Love the tale of mosquito murder
I loved the travel article by Effie-Michelle Metallidis From India to China and everything in between: no failed states tour, this (June 11). My favourite line is about mosquitos: "I have been known to leave a bloody body smeared across the wall as a warning to all the others. If I could, I would mount their heads on toothpicks by my bed."
Her sense of humour shines in this article but the only thing that threw me off was the amount of time she spends complaining about the mosquitos. It is a well written segment and I appreciate the Gary Larson imagery and it was informative.
However, I'd love to see an entire segment about the mosquitoes, so that she could spend more time on the people and sights of Southeast Asia; the imagery was so vivid to me and I'd love to be exposed to more.
Adam Finelli, US
The Dead Sea must be saved
The article That sinking feeling in the Dead Sea (June 14) reported that that both rising and falling waters threaten Dead Sea tourist resorts. Various remedies have been proposed.
I don't really care what they will decide to do in the end, but I just know that this amazing lake must be saved.
As mentioned in the article, there is a campaign for it to become named as one of natural wonders of the world and I think it deserves the title.
Olga Pul, US
The perils of intemperate talk
The news article Tourist fined for insulting Islam (June 10) reported that a British tourist admitted that he had engaged a Pakistani department store salesman in a discussion about the Taliban. I am astonished that this guy lacked any common sense or good manners in engaging somebody in a conversation regarding sensitive subjects for no apparent reason.
Why on earth would you wish to start a conversation of this sort when you are a foreigner in a different land with different sensitivities?
He should stay home and not embarrass himself by travelling abroad.
W Zelig, Dubai