x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai begins tyre safety campaign

Transport officials, police and municipal authorities have launched a campaign to instruct lorry drivers about the dangers of driving on bald or damaged tyres.

DUBAI // Transport officials, police and municipal authorities have launched a campaign to instruct lorry drivers about the dangers of driving on bald or damaged tyres, which can cause deadly crashes. Inspectors who set up shop at Dubai's main vegetable and fruit market in the Aweer area have been using a gauge to show truckers when the treads of their tryes were unsafe. "These tyres are damaged, expired. They are dangerous and must be changed immediately," Jovener Rosales, an inspector with the Roads and Transport Authority licensing agency, said to a group of truck drivers from Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.

"Most accidents are because of tyres blowing. Big trucks lose control, overturn and hit small vehicles nearby. People can die instantly. I have seen it happen." The problem is acute, as more than 40,000 heavy vehicles enter Dubai daily. As part of the campaign, police and transport officials who pull lorries aside for spot checks are reminding drivers to be vigilant about monitoring and replacing tyres.

Officials said the accumulation of tyre debris found on Dubai's roads was an indication of the problem. "Especially in the summer months, when it is so hot, the tyres can expand and explode if they are not constantly checked," said Ahlam Abdul Al Feel, the director of the RTA monitoring wing. Groups of drivers at the fruit and vegetable market stood in the shade of lorries reading road-safety pamphlets, and while they said they understood the importance of tyre safety, they stressed that they are under extreme pressure to deliver their goods swiftly.

"I know accidents happen because of bad tyres. I see this every day," said Nasir Mohammed, a driver from Syria. "But sometimes drivers are in a hurry to reach the market and so don't have time to check." rtalwar@thenational.ae