x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Calm on the roads

Another warning about bad driving habits during Ramadan warrants additional caution on the roads.

During Ramadan, we are taught to be patient, tolerant and serene. Why is it that all of those virtues that are practised in the home go right out the window when drivers take to the roads?

Every year it seems the problem gets worse. It is not uncommon on some days to see multiple car accidents within only a couple of blocks. It is partly understandable, as fasting can be mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. And many drivers would admit to being more aggressive as they return home after work for iftar.

In The National's road to safety campaign, we have detailed a litany of factors that contribute to hazards on the road: speeding, poor driving etiquette, failure to buckle-up, the use of mobile phones ... it's a long, dreary list. And it would be a cruel irony if unnecessary aggravation during the holy month were added to it.

"Everyone is already hungry, tired and frustrated," said Ali Berri, a Sharjah-Dubai commuter." "It's like they're all waiting for just one reason to pick a fight." Mr Berri is just giving words to sentiment that many drivers have seen for themselves.

The police are out in force. So far, Abu Dhabi authorities said yesterday, there had not been a fatal or serious accident despite adverse conditions. That is how Ramadan should be celebrated.