x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Remembering a unique spirit and great colleague

A former coworker at the Press Association pays tribute to The National staffer Rob Evans, who passed away in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

It was a pleasure and a privilege to have known and worked with Rob Evans at the Press Association in Britain ( The very picture of an adventurous life, November 15).

I'll never forget the year or so that he, another friend and myself triple-handedly and heroically kept the showbiz desk going during embattled times.

His wit, wisdom and bonhomie, along with his eclectic tastes, made Rob one of life's true originals. I regret not meeting up with him more often during the last few years.

They say the good die young; none more so in this case.

He will be sorely missed.

Yui Mok, UK


Better oversight of Delhi buildings

Race on to rescue Delhi survivors (November 17) was sad and painful to read.

It is unacceptable that this large accident - with 66 casualties and 80 injured - happened in spite of rules and regulations from the New Delhi government.

The building was only 15 years old; how was it possible that it cracked? Normally, a building's longevity is more than 30 to 40 years, so how this building collapsed is a mystery. From an engineering perspective, one wonders if the structure of the building was properly approved.

I pray for the departed souls, grieving family members and hope for a speedy recovery for the injuired. The government should probe this incident and justice should be given to the victims.

K Ragavan, Delhi


Questionable trade partners

The British government is reported to have paid out £5m (Dh29m) in compensation for its unlawful complicity in the torturing of six British prisoners formerly held in Guantanamo Bay ( UK in settlement deal with former detainees, November 17).

Yet while Britain is being made to pay out to victims of alleged torture, the EU continues to freely trade with Israel, which has also reportedly tortured political prisoners in the past and has also carried out a state-sponsored assassination in Dubai.

Why then is the European Union still conducting bilateral trade with Israel in vitally important armaments, military equipment and goods?

Colin Dale, UK


Speeding is a behavioural issue

Regarding Ideas for a speed trap you can't evade (November 14): speeding is not the most important point at all, because it is only the result of very poor education and behaviour.

I drive every month nearly 10,000 km on the roads and highways of the UAE, and I see very well who is speeding: those in expensive cars, drivers of powerful motorbikes and some small truck and bus drivers.

When I say that speeding is not the problem, I know that many people will not agree with that. But it is not the car that is speeding; it is the person behind the wheel.

The reason behind this person's attitude has to do with education. Many drivers think that they own the roads and can act any way they want. They do not understand that there is a law that regulates the interaction of people and their driving habits.

On the other hand, as long as the presence of the traffic police is not as high as it should be, who will care about the traffic law? The only people who will exercise responsibility are those who care about themselves, their families, and for society.

Technical solutions alone are unable to create a change in social behaviour.

Juergen Gasiecki, Dubai


Camera poles pose big problem

I have watched with dismay as thick, heavy poles have been erected around the city for the purpose of supporting cameras. These polls are unprotected by any barriers and are close to the edge of the roads. I am therefore saddened to read of the deaths on Khaleej Al Arabi. ( Two die as speeding car crashes into speed-camera pole, November 17).

These poles should be able to absorb energy in the event of a collision. At the moment, they are totally uncompromising and can become a deadly, immobile obstacle, particularly since they are on a road where the speed limit is 120kph.

In any case, why are so many poles needed? Not only are they ugly, but better technology also exists for speed enforcement that requires much less infrastructure than the forest of poles that has sprung up around the city.

The fewer obstructions on the road, the better.

Ford Desmoineaux, Abu Dhabi