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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

No one should have to pay for a lukewarm pizza with their life

Delivery riders on motorbike are the most vulnerable road users. We all have a duty of care to protect them

Delivery riders on motorbike are the most vulnerable road users, with one in five involved in accidents in the past year
Delivery riders on motorbike are the most vulnerable road users, with one in five involved in accidents in the past year

We have all been there – impatiently awaiting a food order while clock-watching every minute that the delivery driver is late. Yesterday’s findings that one in five motorcyclists have been involved in an accident in the past year while rushing to make a delivery made for shocking reading. Nearly eight in 10 of those surveyed said other vehicles were driven inconsiderately or often cut in front of them without indicating, putting their lives at risk. It stands to reason that a motorcyclist involved in a collision with a car is far more likely to suffer serious and even fatal consequences. The responsibility is manifold: while 19 per cent had been in an accident, paradoxically nearly all the motorcyclists questioned thought they were safe riders. That simply does not add up and we have all seen examples of bad motorcycling as bikers weave in and out of traffic, often riding close to the wind.

But it also behoves their employers, the restaurants and companies which dispatch those bikers, not to make unreasonable demands on those executing their duties or threatening to financially penalise motorcyclists for not making deliveries on time. It is often fear of having their pay cut that prompts those delivery drivers to speed and take unnecessary risks in the first place. It comes, therefore, as little surprise that other motorcycle delivery riders are often the ones putting their peers’ lives in danger. In the chain of responsibility, customers have their part to play too. Cutting delivery riders a little slack for being a few minutes late with a delivery or struggling to find an address is the fair and reasonable thing to do.

Captain Salim Alamimi, of Dubai Police’s traffic department, has called for motorcyclists to wear high visibility jackets. “A motorbike rider is not as safe as a person driving an SUV,” he has previously told The National. “When motorcyclists get in an accident, it will usually be fatal.” There is no doubt bikers would pay more attention to the road if pressure was eased off them from both employers and customers. After all, no one should have to pay for a lukewarm pizza with their life.