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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Campaigners issue 'ten golden rules' for driving safely on UAE roads

Motorists urged to give up dangerous driving habits

An accident in Dubai last year. Courtesy Dubai Police
An accident in Dubai last year. Courtesy Dubai Police

While road safety has improved in the UAE, campaigners say a change in the culture of driving in the country is still urgently needed.

Due to regular campaigns, the number of fatalities on the roads has dropped by 50 per cent; however, dangerous driving habits and a deficit in consideration were top of the list of concerns for campaigners.

“Road traffic fatalities are an area of national priority and are recognized as the number two killer in the UAE overall, and the number one killer of kids below the age of 15 years. We need to change our driving culture with a sense of significant importance and urgency,” said Thomas Edelmann, managing director of Road Safety UAE

The group issued their "10 golden rules" to safer driving based on safety rules and conversations with road users and the government:

Caring, polite behavior

This attitude, if applied on the road, could be the foundation of positive driving – people should treat others the way they want to be treated themselves

Wear seat belts

This rule has no exceptions. As many as 60 per cent of fatalities last year in Abu Dhabi were due to a failure to use seat belts. Despite a law that came into force in 2017 to strap up, children are often not properly restrained in cars, according to campaigners.

Drive defensively

Taking risks only contributes to unsafe behaviour and increases the danger on the roads.

No distractions

Cell phones should not be checked while driving and texting should be avoided at all costs. Avoiding this not only prevents taking unnecessary risks with the lives of people in the car, it also protects other motorists.

No tailgating

A safe distance must be maintained in all weather conditions. Drivers in cars that are too close to one another travelling at high speed will have no time to react in case of trouble.

No speeding

Be mindful of the speed limit and leave home or work early to be on time instead of speeding.

Use the indicator

Other motorists are at risk if you fail to signal. Timely indication before every maneuver is important.

No driving under the influence

The country has a zero tolerance drink-driving policy. Dubai Police lists this as the number one cause of accidents in Dubai. This also covers all banned substances and prescription medicine. Respect the law – do not drink and drive. Call a cab instead.

Care for pedestrians, protect other road users

The safety of people on the road should be paramount. Pedestrian fatalities are among the highest among road users in Dubai as per police statistics.

Teach our kids

Schools and universities should have road safety as mandatory curriculum content starting with kindergarten through to college. Parents too should make sure their children are aware from a young age so when they grow up and get behind the wheel, safety is second nature.

Road Safety UAE has asked readers to share the 10 golden rules to keep the roads safe.

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