RTA drives home message of tailgating risks

DUBAI — Tailgating, and its perils, remain the focus of the ongoing road safety campaign of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) that has now entered its second week. The campaign is being conducted under the slogan ‘Be Smart, Drive Safe’.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 23 Jul 2007, 8:45 AM

Last updated: Wed 15 Nov 2023, 10:10 AM

The RTA has teamed up with Dubai Autodrome, Dubai Police, HSBC and Audi to carry out the campaign which aims at educating drivers on the best practices in driving.

The campaign, which is being conducted in two phases, is educating people that if they adhere to the simple rules of road safety, they can help prevent accidents and make Dubai roads a safer place.

The first six-week phase consists of a concerted advertising and poster campaign, which focuses on six thought provoking tips for motorists for six weeks in succession.

Tailgating is a common practice on Dubai highways and roads. Following a vehicle ahead too closely is one of the most common causes of accidents, and even pile-ups, on highways.

In the UK, a petition has been signed and sent to the government suggesting tailgating should be considered a “criminal offence” rather than a “road violation”.

Likewise, Hong Kong authorities have an ‘Anti-Tailgating Operation’ in place in order to reduce accidents caused by motorists following vehicles too closely.

The UK and Hong Kong examples show how seriously the authorities in the two countries view the risks of tailgating.

Moreover, studies have shown that tailgating does not make the driver go any faster. It will make them irritable and frustrated or even induce panic. Drivers who need to move ahead should slow down and overtake appropriately and safely.

To avoid tailgating, drivers should abide by the ‘three second rule’ whereby they are at least a ‘two car’ distance away from the car in front.

This allows for sufficient braking time and space if an emergency occurs.

To prevent accidents resulting out of tailgating, responsible drivers should avoid driving in the fast lane of highways and dual-carriageway roads.

Travelling too slow in the fast lane is a common cause of tailgating.

The second phase of the road safety campaign, slated in October, will target Dubai students on university campuses. It will consist of a road show aimed at highlighting the safety tips that symbolise the campaign.

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