x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 26 September 2017

Ramadan campaign warns motorists not to tailgate or drive while tired

The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority on Sunday began a campaign to remind motorists about the risks of tailgating and driving when exhausted.

DUBAI // Motorists are being urged not to tailgate, to switch on the air conditioning, and keep their eyes on the road while driving this Ramadan.

The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority on Sunday began a campaign to remind motorists about the risks of tailgating and driving when exhausted.

“Poor concentration, inattentiveness and tiredness raise the likelihood of causing crashes,” said Maitha bin Udai, chief executive of Traffic & Roads Agency of the RTA.

“The noble values radiated by the holy month must have a positive bearing on attitudes of persons highlighted by the compliance with the traffic rules and refraining from the encroachment on the rights of road users.”

Last year, Dubai Police received 2,419 traffic reports and recorded 250 incidents during five hours on the first day of Ramadan.

Most traffic accidents that take place during Ramadan are due to drivers not leaving a safe distance between vehicles, the RTA said.

“By being close to you, the driver behind you is directly putting your safety at risk,” said Robert Hodges, a UK-based driver education and road safety expert.

“The lack of space between vehicles removes the ‘safety zone’ and the risk of a rear-impact is greatly increased. The fact that you are tailgated also distracts, and might worry you and could cause you to make poor or hasty decisions.”

Ms Udai urged drivers to leave a sufficient distance between vehicles and to make sure their air-conditioning is working as heat can cause fatigue and exhaustion.

Traffic accidents caused by tailgating killed 14 and severely injured 151 in the first quarter of this year, according to Dubai Police.

The difference between the sleeping and working times during Ramadan impacts the concentration of fasting motorists, which is clearly reflected when employees drive home, Ms Udai said.

She called upon all motorists to take sufficient rest before driving, and to rest if they feel exhausted or sleepy.

“Once drivers hear the call for maghreb prayers while driving, they have to stop to take a light iftar, even if a glass of water and few dates, before resuming the journey,” Ms Udai said.

The RTA will provide safety tips to drivers via social media channels and distribute awareness leaflets.

The authority has teamed up with Emirates Driving Institute to launch an awareness campaign targeting motorists and trainees.

There will be lectures in Arabic, English and Urdu and flyers on safe driving, while free iftar meals will be given away to motorists in an attempt to improve safety on the roads during Ramadan.

rruiz@thenational.ae