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Truck drivers in UAE advised to make road safety their second nature

Angel Tesorero/Dubai
Filed on April 2, 2017 | Last updated on April 2, 2017 at 06.37 am
Truck drivers and supervisors attending the Road safety awareness seminar at Dubai Chamber.
Truck drivers and supervisors attending the Road safety awareness seminar at Dubai Chamber.

(Photo by Juidin Bernarrd/ Khaleej Times)

More than 90 per cent of accidents are due to human errors.

There is a need to strengthen the public-private and people partnership to boost road safety and reduce the number of fatal road accidents, according to a safety expert.

Speaking at a road safety awareness seminar for truck drivers organised by the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network on Thursday, Mohammad Akber, Tristar Group general manager for HSE, Quality and Sustainability, said: "It is the moral obligation of companies to properly educate their drivers on road safety."

"More than 90 per cent of accidents are due to human errors. And accidents do not discriminate - they're not based on nationality, educational background and driving experience," Akber told Khaleej Times.

"We have drivers who have more than 20-25 years of driving experience but we cannot say that they are exempted from accidents," he pointed out.

Akber underlined the need for continuous education programmes to keep the veteran drivers aware of road safety and for the new drivers to raise their awareness. "They already know how to drive heavy duty vehicles but how to drive safely is another thing," he noted.

He also said that imposing huge fines on erring drivers can be a deterrent but what is more required is to make safety second nature to drivers. "Companies should also be mindful to remind their drivers not to cut costs by disregarding safety like taking shortcuts or taking lanes not dedicated to trucks and other heavy vehicles to save time," he underlined.

Abdel Latif, 42, an Egyptian driver who has been working in Dubai for 15 years transporting furniture, agreed to this observation. "Sometimes drivers disregard safety because they just want to get their job done immediately, but this is dangerous," Latif said.

Around 120 drivers and supervisors from 21 companies across Dubai attended the safety workshop, which is a continuing CSR (corporate social responsibility) programme called 'Be Responsible - Drive Safe' that was launched in 2014 by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with the Dubai's Roads and Transport  Authority,, and members of the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network.

Dr Belaid Rettab, senior director for economic research and sustainable business development sector at the Dubai Chamber, commended the drivers for their participation and stressed on the importance of road safety for a better community.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network challenged the drivers who participated at the seminar to cascade the information to their colleagues. "We are in the Year of Giving and this is an important initiative towards making our roads safe and to protect lives," the spokesperson said.

Figures to ponder

> 1.2M people killed in road accidents worldwide last year

> 1 child killed in road accidents every 3 minutes in the world

> 160 road fatalities in Dubai last year

> 24 deaths happened on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road

> 13 on Emirates Road

> 9 on Sheikh Zayed Road

> 114 happened on junctions, intersections and roundabouts

> 2nd leading cause of death in the UAE is road accident, after cardio vascular disease


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