Good driving starts with respect

They do everything from tailgating, speeding, driving on the hard shoulder and jumping red signals.

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Published: Tue 17 May 2016, 7:08 PM

Thanks to new technology, police have detected 134 hard-shoulder violations on Dubai roads in just two hours. But why aren't we shocked? It's common knowledge that traffic rules are being flouted; the horrors caused by bad drivers only growing, the litany of complaints against them rising by the day. Many motorists don't think twice before putting theirs and other lives at risk when they join the rush to their destinations. They do everything from tailgating, speeding, driving on the hard shoulder and jumping red signals. New cameras are at best detection tools, a warning, which motorists choose to ignore when they get used to them sprouting along stretches on their route to work. With over 200 nationalities in the country, road accidents are often blamed on different driving styles and mindsets. Fines are a small price to pay even if it means driving dangerously for many motorists, who consider it a macho to speed when all they have to do is to drive sensibly. Defensive measures are being taught in driving schools; driver training is among the best in the world, but motorists, once they get their hands on the gleaming licence cards do as they please and flout rules when it suits them.
So the emergency hard shoulder is not even spared in their quest to hit top speeds, as they overtake from the wrong lane. It's a common sight to see impatient motorists flashing, tailgating and stepping on the sacrosanct yellow line. The UAE has some of the best roads in the world. Improvements are being made daily. Speed controls are in place, yet motorists show disrespect to other road users and the law. Changing driver mindsets has been a challenge. Police and traffic authorities are doing their bit through regular awareness drives on road safety. Some listen to sane advice and follow rules, while many drive their own way and cause loss of lives and injuries. Smart technology like radars has its limits and can only detect and make bad drivers pay for infractions on the road. Motorists should not just use their heads but also listen to their hearts when behind the wheel. It could save lives.

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