x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Road safety feature for phones

A road-safety feature announced will display on mobile phones the numbers of friends or relatives if the phone's owner is in an accident.

ABU DHABI // A road-safety feature announced yesterday will display on mobile phones the numbers of friends or relatives if the phone's owner is in an accident. If a phone's keypad is locked, the screen will display a message saying: "unlock keypad or call number in case of emergency," said Nisrine Sfeir, Emirates Foundation's manager of public awareness programmes. The initiative, called Salama, is a project by Emirates Foundation involving Shell and Emirates Driving Company, and supported by the Ministry of Interior and the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi.

It will be implemented in January by volunteers in malls who will explain to shoppers how to set up an emergency number. "We also plan to coordinate with people who sell mobiles, and Etisalat," Ms Sfeir said. Maytha al Habsi, communications and fundraising director of Emirates Foundation and manager of Takatuf, the foundation's volunteer wing, said Salama, the Arabic word for safety, combined public, private and non-profit organisations in the initiative to improve road safety.

She said previous road safety initiatives had been unsuccessful. "Usually they were scattered efforts, but this time we are using a method where all parties are working together with measurable results and no duplication of efforts. "So, if Abu Dhabi Police decided to launch a seat-belt campaign, we will receive good funding from private companies, while NGOs will take the messages and make sure they are embedded in society through volunteers. We have over 5,000 volunteers who can mix within society, so we will use a people-to-people effect."

hdajani@thenational.ae