LOCAL REACTIONS

The speed demons

Something really needs to be done about the driving in Abu Dhabi. The speeds that people drive at are dangerous to say the least. When I was over in January a Porsche over took us on this very same road at approximately 120MPH. It looks like someone needs to be educating the drivers to the dangers they are placing themselves and others in. This accident could clearly have been so much worse with so many more deaths. – Elaine, Glasgow

Impose fines on errant drivers

Bad weather is not the excuse for the accident, reckless driving is the reason. With poor weather like yesterday, some were still doing 100 or 120km/hr on the freeway, they were not only risking their life but also others. Could the government do something like educating people on road safety and impose HEAVY fine?— Reader, Abu Dhabi

Drivers have forgotten to be courteous

I’m not surprised I last drove in Dubai like 3 yrs back and when I see the way people driving now and then, its so irritating. Earlier people used to be courteous and now they are rash and selfish even while changing lanes and often I see drivers speeding in the slow lanes to avoid cameras. This recent accident is a grim remainder of what and how innocent families get punished because of arrogant drivers who want to rule the roads for their selfish reasons. May the Lord bless the families of the dead and injured. — Vasanth Benjamin

Control rash behaviour

I am a regular driver on these roads. Most of the rash drivers (sadly) that I have noticed carry 4 digit number plates or less. Everyday, when I drive to Musaffah from Abu Dhabi, I know a major place where such disasters are round the corner. We have small ones literally everyday. It is the exit to Musaffah from the main road I am talking about. The over-smart drivers that cause danger are invariably jumping the queue and barge in from the lane going straight into the Musaffah exit. I would think that the police must do something strict at that place to avoid any disaster. — Kumar

Why are we putting ourselves at risk?

Living in New Zealand, I am often angered by the amount of reckless driving - especially by teenagers and young adults (but not limited to them!). Their accidents are often caused due to excess alcohol, using their mobiles, or simply speeding. It is an utter shame. There is always some accident EVERYDAY. But to have had to hear about this dreadful incident in the UAE, where I resided for years...it is just unbelievable! Drivers all over the world are the same; being a driver myself, it angers me when people never keep a safe distance or speed or change lanes suddenly or without any indication. What are we thinking??? Why are we deliberately putting ourselves and the lives of others at some immense and unnecessary risk? Nature has nothing to do with it. Nor does luck. We bring tragedy to ourselves. To all the reckless drivers out there thinking you are God behind your wheel...think again!! You are only human and speed kills!! Always!! I completely agree with one of these letters here - all their licences should be suspended. And the laws certainly need to be made much more strict - and that applies to all countries. Every road and motorway should have speed cameras, and speedsters fined heavily. It is high time people learnt a lesson, albeit the hard way. I have to say though, I salute the emergency services for doing such a great job getting to the scene in no time rescuing so many people from worse situations. My sincere condolences go out to all the families, friends, and people who have been affected by this tragedy. Please, everyone....be alert and drive safe! — Daisy McIntyre

Police should take precautionary measures

At the accident time, the visibility on road was almost zero percent. In such case drivers should be extra careful. However, the Police must have taken precautionary measures before this accident could have happened. In December, I was travelling to Riyadh, KSA in the Hajj tour bus. As soon as we crossed the KSA entry border, heavy fog erupted the main highway which leads towards Riyadh from the border, it was 1.00 a.m. The efficiency of Saudi Police is so high that immediately three police cars came and blocked the start of the highway (near a rest area), which is a two-lane road only and therefore very dangerous to drive on. Our, bus and all other vehicles travelling to Riyadh had to delay the journey and stopped there only. The police kept the entrance closed until 8.00 am, so that the fog was clear by than and the road was safe. We had to suffer a 7-hour delay, however, we were very glad that we reached our destination (Madinah Munawarah) safely the next day, rather than travelling on a fog effected highway and risking our lives. I would request UAE Police also to take such precautionary measures in future to prevent the casualties. — Mansoor Riaz, Sharjah

'I have never seen anything so horrible'

I started at 7:10 am from Al Samha & I reached Jebel Ali at 12:00 noon.

Reason you know... The Heavy Traffic Piled up due to Accident(s)

The First Accident I saw was before reaching Al Sameih Bridge, it was a bunch of cars . Some how I passed from there through the bridge. I thought the accident is over & I continued with Dubai road. After hundred meters I found just on my side a car hitting a police car which was parked on speed track with hazard lights on. I escaped from there too. After driving bit ahead... again there was a huge line of cars jam packed in stand still situation. I walked towards the front ... around 1 Km, (or may be more) the road was blocked except the service lane in the left end of the road. Soon the police vehicles started rushing in.... along with ambulances, fire engines, recovery vehicles.. From Samha, Khalifa medical city, Jebel Ali free zones. After almost two hours helicopter arrived.

And finally when they moved the traffic, on the way I saw more than twenty cars were burned & many cars have been destroyed in a very bad condition. The street Lights & the Trees over & under the Ghantoor Bridge were Black in colour.

I have never seen such a horrible & terrifying accident in my whole life.

I just have a request to the readers. Try and dry carefully. especially during bad whether conditions. May be this disaster raised from one person who was driving restlessly.

BE CARE FULL... OF YOUR LIFE & GIVE SPECIAL CARE OF YOUR FELLOW BEINGS

Regards,
--P. S. Shabeen

'God saved me'

I started from Abu Dhabi at 6.15 AM and reached the first accident location, which is after the Second ADNOC Pump, around 6.40AM. I was heading to that location at a speed of 120 – 140km/ hr and the road was entirely empty. At that time a Patrol Team crossed mine and another Toyota Avalon vehicle to stop and follow them. I passed the 1st incident place about within 5 minutes and came the second – that also passed within 10 mins since the road was diverted. Finally I reached the third incident place at 6.55 – 07.00 AM and was in the block until 11.25AM and have witnessed the entire tragic conditions.

Moreover, as per the comments from the fellow readers, I need to raise my voice that, snow or over speeding is not only the reason for accident but the same is only due to the carelessness of 1 or 2 people. Moreover, I used to travel to and fro, Abu Dhabi – Dubai on daily basis. According to me, all the accidents are caused due to the usage of mobile phone while driving, inappropriate usage of signals or changing tracks without any close check or any appropriate signals. Moreover, I used to see some practices in prevalence with some of the fellows that, on the highways too, some people drives the car at the lower speed than lowest speed assigned for the road and on the other hand, some people who use the acceleration track won’t be interested to care about others coming behind and will be applying sudden brakes unnecessarily and won’t be clearing the lane (even they clear the track, wont be going inside the next track fully, but in – 50:50 Ratio) after signals or will be coming back to the same track within seconds (sometimes the vehicle which asked for the path might haven’t passed him) and moreover, the poorly maintained vehicles only will be resulting in such tragic accidents.

Moreover, I have to be thankful to the god for making me delay in starting from Abu Dhabi. Usually, the incident time is my usual passing time (EXACTLY THE SAME TIME –1st Petrol Pump by 6.12 to 6.15, 2nd by +20 to 25 mins and the 3rd maximum by 6.55 to 7.05AM) of those areas and by the grace of god – I’M SAVED. --Mintu John

Readers – you are missing the point…

I think I speak for everyone when I say our sympathies are with the victims and their families, however to quote Police sources 'Poor visibility conditions have been blamed for the accident' - The conditions are NOT the problem it's the attitude and behaviour of some drivers here in the UAE. The fact that the reports focus on the conditions with little mention of the driving highlights that the poor driving style is an accepted norm for our society, and this needs to change and quickly! --Darren

More than 60 cars skidded to a stop…

I was one of the commuters as well this morning. I don't think it was one accident . It was a series of accidents that happened simultaneously on the AbuDhabi-Dubai highway.

We were in the pile up that happened near Taweela. Usually my husband drives on the 2nd lane and today we were looking for the exit to the pertrol pump in Taweela and were therefore on the last lane when we saw the first 20 cars smash into each other.

As he was driving slowly, he managed to swerve to the side and we stopped without hitting any car. Again by Divine Providence, a four wheel drive came behind us and he also was able to control his speed. Then we heard screeching tyres, brakes and thuds.. people were getting out of their vehicles and running. We did the same so that even if the vehicle was hit, we would be safe. More than 60 cars skidded to a stop out of which atleast 30 were knocked badly.

In this accident near Taweela, one man was badly hurtand his friends carried him out of the car and laid him on the road. Some of the mini vans carrying laborers were a part of it and some young men got down and started to cry. We called the police who responded immediately.

Theygradually cleared the last laneand as we moved on, the enormity of the accidents on theentirestretch of roadunfolded before us....! Of course we did not reach the part near Ghantoot wherevehiclescaught fire. Weheard sirens and saw fire engines and nearly twenty ambulances race toward the scene.The traffic was redirected and after nearly 4 hours in the car, we returned to Abu Dhabi.

If you were a part of the accident and God kept you safe, thank Him for His Protection. But if you were one of the victim families, my sincere prayers are with you. May God Himself comfort you. --Ezzy

My salute to that labourer

Dear Editor,

I live in Al Rahba and travel everyday to my workplace in Dubai Academic City. I was among the ones who were saved, firstly because of God’s help, and then because of that unknown hero on the road (a labourer) who was shouting his heads off and running towards the on coming traffic to warn them and stop them. It is difficult to explain how frantically he was yelling and trying his best to stop cars ... just so that there are not any more casualties. Had I not stopped because of his warning I might have also been involved in that horrific accident.

When I asked that “angel” what had happened, he told me that people are dying ahead on the road … everyone is hitting in each other. I advised him to take some precaution while warning others on the road, coz he was running towards the traffic in the road to force them to slow down or stop. Guess what he replied, he said “If I can save them by risking my own life then let it be that way.” Anyway, my salute to that labourer.

One question I would like to ask the authorities, were there some speed breakers in place in the area after that accident? I was trying to call my folks to tell them that I was ok ... and they were also trying their best to call me after hearing about the accident on the TV, but signals were not going through. My folks were searching for me everywhere. In such moments it is very important for people to be able to call.

Regards.
--Waqqas Pervez

Foggy condition is no excuse

I am a frequent visitor to UAE and I some how had inkling that this would happen one day. I have seen very rash driving apparently due to lack of driving training. I have lived in a western country for many years and people there are trained for safe driving from the child-hood. Foggy condition is no excuse for not maintaining minimum safe distance between the vehicles. People in UAE and in most of the Asian countries seem to be in hurry only when they are on the road behind a wheel? --Gopal Murti

Careless driving

This happened only due to careless driving. One should use his/her common sense while driving. Its foggy conditions and people still wanna zoom at 140-150km per hr. --William

Dangerous mistake

This is one of the most serious accidents that I have seen in my life. And this has been brought about by just one factor - careless driving. People are driving at 140-150kmph and that too fast. People behind the first pile-up should have slowed down, but they didn’t. It was by God’s grace that I survived today. People have to remember there is always somebody waiting for them at home. --Mustafa Siddiqui

No sense to risk the lives

Dear readers First of all heartily condolences to the families of victims and commiserations to the minor injured. If you look at the incident happened today on the Abu-Dhabi to Dubai road, near Ghantoot you will notice one thing, this is not just because of the bad weather conditions but also reckless driving habits. I just ask these expatriate people to jog your memory about their parents, families and friends at home praying for them daily and waiting for them to see them again but these uncontrolled drivers will never put an end to their habits risking theirs and others lives. Change the driving attitudes! No sense to risk the lives by over speeding or carelessness. It is better to suicide than to die in this fashion! We ourselves are responsible for these accidents. So please do not blame the weather conditions. Seasons will come again but not human. May Allah Give Us The Death of A Righteous! --Babbu

Don’t blame nature

Dear fellow citizens, Its upto each one of us to drive slow and with alertness in fog and rain, use the fogs lights instead of blinkers whilst driving, Servicing your car on time, checking brakes and tyre pressure regularly also help in vehicle control. All drivers who are at fault in these accidents need to have their licenses suspended and sent for retraining, there is no point in blaming nature when its our stupidity and carelessness which has caused so much grief.--Gavin Mendez

Horrible Scenes

“Horrible Scenes” Traffic Police should patrol the highway in morning specialy in fogy weathers. Police should have make caravan of vehicle moving towards Dubai, may be this Horrible Scenes would have diverted. Regards. Bangash. --Bangash

Was just lucky


I guess I was just lucky since I was in the second raw in the accident where a big bus for a construction company was like a shield for us, those who were in the front and he took most of the impacts.

The problem was for the police and the medics that they couldn’t do a lot because they
arrived to the scene by foot because of the big piles of the crashed cars. --Mohamed

Please drive careful

Having seen this pictures, we kindly request every motorist to please drive careful & make sure that u keep a distance between each vehicles. With a little sense & patience we can save our own live & the lives of others. --Bobby

One person’s mistake, affects many

I started at 7:30 AM from Abu Dhabi along with my husband and a friend and we reached Jebel Ali at 12:40PM. Totally 5 hrs we got stuck in traffic.

The reason for this is heavy traffic piled up due to series of accidents happened on Sheikh Zayed Road.


The first accident I saw was before reaching Sahama. There we were caught in the traffic congestion for about 2 hrs. I have seen so many police cars going in the emergency lane. I didn’t understand why so many police cars were going for this small accident. My husband went out of the car and asked one person. He said more than 150 cars were crashed in accidents. We thought he must be joking. After 2 hrs, the traffic was clear and thought the accident was over and continued with Dubai road. After hundred metres, again we met the same thing. Some four to five damaged cars were lying on the service lane. In the same way we saw three series of accidents. After driving a bit ahead, again there was a huge line of cars packed in stand still situation. The road was blocked. Many police cars, ambulances, cranes, helicopters, fire engines have been rushing near Ghantoot area.


After 3 hrs of traffic jam, finally they moved the traffic, the scene what we had seen was really horrifying. I’ve never had seen such a terrifying accident in my life. That person was not joking. More than 20 cars had been charred and 150 cars have been destroyed in crash. The crash barriers and trees were black in colour.


I heard more than 10 people had been killed and 40 people had been injured. It just happened due to bad weather and high speed driving. But one witness said that it was just the carelessness of 1 or 2 people which made his life in danger as well as other innocent people. This might be only one person’s mistake effecting many others.

P
lease be careful.

--Laxmi Biswas, Highway Engineer

A painful tragedy

This tragic accident is perfect symbol of carelessness among drivers. The accidents have been blamed on poor visibility condition brought about by the fog for the crash, but I am sure that more than one reckless driver involved in the mishap. There should be a law which should defines the maximum limit during the dense fog and speed should be in limit of 30 to 50 Km/hr. Being a commuter myself, I have noticed that most of the motorists are arrogant, aggressive and love to fly regardless of bad weather conditions. Expert drivers make mistakes due to overconfidence and new drivers make mistakes due to lack of confidence and among all moderate drivers have to suffer. In the end I feel so sad about those who lost their lives and some are in a critical stage and some may become disabled. One arrogant or careless driver who ignored other lives and must be responsible for others. --Najam

Safety comes first

This letter is to all those who are driving on the roads. Today we have witnessed the havoc brought about by human error. Today a lot of innocent people have suffered for the mistakes made by a few. Some families will never be able to recover from their loss

People here need to exercise patience while driving. They should understand that everyone needs to get to office and back and a few minutes lost here and there don’t matter. People drive like F1 drivers and change lanes without using indicators and that can be fatal. Lives are important. Remember safety comes first. --Yamini Chachad

Guidelines to road safety

After this tragic accident there are certain parameters drivers need to follow

  • In poor visibility, maintain and make compulsion to drive at low speed
  • Ban usage of Mobile / Cell phones while driving
  • Check with breath analyzer to tests at points
  • Check records / credentials of all the drivers at regular intervals
  • Announce heavy rewards for accident free cars in every quarter. --Shubhasish

Motorists responsible

The drivers of the cars / vehicles are the main cause of this severe accident, I live in North America and have seen and experienced worse climatic conditions like snowstorms, fogs and slippery road conditions. Drivers have to be extra cautious while driving in foggy weather, its a common sense that if a driver cant see up to 1km then the car speed should be reduced to below 50km/h. Please educate the local people first with the driving ethics. --A concerned citizen

Expect the unexpected

I offer my deepest condolence to those families who lost their love one's from this tragedy, there is only one culprit in this accident and that is reckless driver's who thinks that they own the road. We cannot totally stop these accidents from happening but we can’t prevent or reduce them, and this is by not speeding and following traffic rules, always remember, 'expect the un-expected' --Elpidio

An accident waiting to happen

What a sad day! I used to stay in Al Samha and drive down to Jebel Ali every day for the last six months. I used to be really scared every day driving down to reach safely to work and back, the scary thing was the 4-wheel drivers who used to drive like there is no tomorrow. Simply intimidating all the other drives, all these drivers know the camera's location and slow down at that point and then belt the gas. It’s such stupid drivers who make such accidents. I was sure such an accident was waiting to happen especially at the Gantooth area. I honestly say to people that life is precious, remember about your loved ones at home, and always paste a picture of your family next to dashboard. Just before you press on the gas beyond the 110 mark have a look at that photo. Imagine even if you survive a crash due to speeding the crippled life ahead. I moved away from Al Samha despite the beautiful greenery around simply because I was scared about the dangerous drive I had to do everyday. I sympathise with the family of the innocent people who lost their lives and pray God helps the injured a speedy recovery. To all the daredevils - every time you drive crazy think of this tragedy! Why get cursed! Drive safely and let all live in peace. God Bless --Krishna Kumar

Human error

Not nature, its always mistakes made by people. And it is not only 1 or two people. Usually many, culture in the Middle East regarding driving is upside down. I lived and drove in Canada in weather that is a lot worse than weather here and never witnessed such tragedy. People here drive 100+ kmph in foggy weather with close to zero visibility. That is plain ignorance. People are lucky it does not snow here, or we would have probably seen a 1000 car pile up instead of 200. What pity. My prayers to all of the people involved in the accident. Drive safe people.--A reader

Electronic signs needed

After a serious crash like this it must be now clear to the authorities that electronic signs need to be installed on the highways which can warn of dangers ahead. These signs have worked for years in Europe and could save numerous lives. Kill your speed.

Stewart

No blame game

Don’t blame the nature.....this is all bcos of high speed driving as if they don’t take care of others lives....the day b4 yesterday morning 7 am I had seen many vehicles passing away at a high speed the thick fog....

Adil, Sharjah

Exercise caution

It is horrific. And the poor visibility is not the first time in UAE. We have experienced before as well. The drivers also must take a portion of the responsibility. These precautions have been previously addressed by the police. Come on people you cannot avoid the natural happenings but be extra cautious will help to save not only your life but others' too. --Stan

A lesson for all

Hi, I agree with one of the comments made earlier, that poor weather conditions is NOT to blame for accidents like this. It's due to selfish, impatient and inconsiderate drivers in the UAE. I hope this will change the way people drive from today onwards and really hope that the authorities will make an bigger effort to clamp down on drivers like this. This is one of the worst accidents ever seen, so please think before you go on the road!! --Marelize, Dubai

Dear All drivers, please learn lesson from this fatal accident ever seen in the history of UAE. We can control this by taking an eye on our speed meter, speed sign boards and weather conditions. Secondly, we have to make a habit to bear the others. Thirdly, I want to make a request to Company owners to please give some time relaxation by one hour to their employees. It will help them to come to office a bit late in good visibility conditions. May Almighty Keep all of you in His gracious care. Regards. --Mushtaq, Dubai

“God saved me”!!!

I was driving to Abu Dhabi and was around 6:50am at Ghantoot bridge driving at max 60km/h with a 30m max visibility and I was scared. My point is, how a driver can send his comment and say 'God saved me' when he was driving at 120/140km in the thick fog. I think God saved many other drivers from his stupidity. God bless the good drivers!!! -Jean Marie, Dubai

Alert driver


I was on my way to college in Dubai. Nothing could prepare any of us on our bus for the tragic and scary sights we saw today. Nothing happened to our bus because luckily our driver managed to brake in time but around us we actually saw 6 cars hit each other. I am eternally grateful and truly wish the best for the families who have lost a loved one or is injured.
-Kimberley Tippetts, Dubai

God bless all

God bless all in the UAE. Thanks to all those who have taken these pictures. Good job. -- Ehab Ragab, Abu Dhabi

Biggest road accident

I was shocked after hearing the biggest road accident in the UAE. People rush to reach their offices early in the morning due to the early opening of the offices. Government should change the office timings to 9 am or 10 am onwards. – Ayesha

Driving with one hand

Just the carelessness of some people has claimed the lives of many innocent people and labourers. I have seen many people who drive their cars with just one hand on the steering wheel the other hand holding either their cell or a cigarette. I wish the government brings new laws for these. I think it’s because of GOD'S grace that many escaped unhurt. --Abdulla T.K, Abu Dhabi

Respect for others

What happened today is indeed unfortunate. However driving with a sense of responsibility and respect for others is missing these days. A lot has changed in terms of attitude, respect for others and following traffic rules are concerned in the last one year or two. Use of mobile phones while driving, not using indicators at the right time, road rage, speeding, etc. have to be noted seriously and severe punishments need to be imposed for those engaged in the same as they are not only causing danger for themselves but also causing danger to others who may not be at fault and are following all rules and regulations faithfully. I pray to god. --Aditya, Abu Dhabi

Over speeding




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