x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Radical approach needed to change driving culture

Readers see no substitute to tougher punishments in changing the UAE's bad driving culture. Other topics: relationships, bank loans

Readers see no other option but to get tougher with errant drivers in the UAE. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Police
Readers see no other option but to get tougher with errant drivers in the UAE. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Police

I am writing in reference to the statistics of car accidents in the UAE between 2012 and 2013 mentioned in the news report Swerving causes 41 deaths on Dubai roads (January 27).

It’s a shame to see the death toll doubling from 21 people in 2012 to 41 last year. Accidents often happen when people are in a hurry to reach their destinations. Companies and universities should show more understanding by allowing people to reach their workplaces late when the weather condition is not suitable for driving. Waking up at 6am is fine, but driving in the fog is very dangerous.

Being late is better than not showing up. So students, employees and workers should not be penalised for showing up a bit late at work or class.

I hope the managements at educational institutions as well as companies will consider this point. Meanwhile, I urge everyone to drive safely and exercise extreme caution when driving in bad weather.

Ebrahim Al Harbi, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi

According to the report Traffic police road-safety lectures reach 38,000 people in Abu Dhabi (January 25), about 38,000 people learnt about road safety and traffic awareness. The continuation of the article tells us how reckless drivers pay the price for ignoring fog warnings. I can only imagine that in the recent pile-ups blamed on the fog, none of these drivers was in attendance of these lectures. Although I suspect some of them were, but because they live with the mentality of “it won’t happen to me”, these incidents are on the rise.

The traffic police do a great job in trying to educate reckless drivers, young and old, locals and expatriates, but until there are serious consequences like taking away the driving licences of those involved in the incident, I fear nothing will change in terms of driving behaviour.

That might seem to be a bit extreme, but 30 cars would not have all hit each other if a safe distance had been maintained between each one of them. Or perhaps issue them with 23 black points on their driving licences, as one more will tip the balance.

This way those of us who do not violate traffic laws will be safe from those who have no logic and no regard for the law. Finally, as someone else rightly said, other countries have way more fog than the UAE and they don’t have this many accidents, so why should the UAE?

Name withheld by request

Bad drivers should be dealt with harshly by the traffic authorities. Too many drivers simply do not know how to drive and show road rage.

It’s especially terrifying to drive with your kids or even cross a car park at a mall or a school. Staying in your lane doesn’t mean anything either.

Even if you drive within the stipulated speed limit, motorists will flash at you and, worse, jump in front of you and brake to cause an accident.

Ni La, Dubai

Don’t stray away from the reality

It’s disturbing to learn that so many Emirati couples part ways before their wedding day (More Emirati couples divorce their wedding day, January 25).

Unfortunately, relationships are increasingly becoming a victim of the fast-changing life and culture in the UAE. In a country where expectations – financial and otherwise – are increasing by leaps and bounds, largely due to society’s growing exposure to other cultures as well as television shows, many relationships are bound to fail, until the time people come to terms with the reality that so many things in life are not as simple and wonderful as they are portrayed by the media.

The reality is that we need hard work and a lot of open discussions to save our relations and marriages.

Aziza Al Busaidy, Abu Dhabi

Waiving debts not the right solution

I am commenting on the article UAE minister warns banks who fail to cooperate with Emirati debt settlement scheme (January 22).

I think writing off 50 per cent of debts is not the right way to teach people the value of money.

Instead, negotiations should occur between the lender and debtor whereby perhaps the interest charged on the debt would be waived for a period of time so that the debtor could start to clear the principal sum loaned.

If Emiratis become aware that their loans will not have to be repaid in full, surely this will encourage more to live beyond their means.

Learning the hard way is sometimes the best medicine and is more likely to deter people from spending more than they have. That is not to say banks are blameless in these cases. After all, isn’t this what triggered the global economic crisis in the first place in the US some time ago?

Name withheld by request