KT edit: Take fatigued drivers off UAE highways

The UAE has stringent traffic rules in place with the latest technology employed to aid motorists.

Published: Mon 30 Sep 2019, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 30 Sep 2019, 10:43 PM

Speeding, distracted and reckless driving, jumping traffic signals and stop signs, teenage drivers, night driving, unsafe lane changes, road rage, tailgating.these are just some of the causes of accidents, at times fatal, on UAE roads. On Monday morning, a van carrying 14 people, including the driver, crashed into the back of a truck parked on the hard shoulder along the Mohamed bin Zayed Road in Dubai, killing eight passengers and leaving two seriously injured.
The fact that 34 traffic accidents were caused by mini-buses during the first eight months of this year underscores the fact that such vehicles and the wellness of drivers need to be put under the scanner. Not equipped with the basic safety features and usually carrying some 14 passengers seated too close for comfort, these vehicles are a sure recipe for disaster. Around 50,000 such vehicles are currently on the UAE roads carrying thousands of passengers, making it all the more necessary to have stringent rules to govern them. A proposal to ban such vehicles on the roads within three years is currently under consideration.
The UAE has stringent traffic rules in place with the latest technology employed to aid motorists. Yet there seems to be no respite from accidents, which demonstrates a lag in the observance of such rules. Are the vehicles shuttling people fit to be there? Are the drivers well equipped and rested? Are companies adhering to the rules when it comes to the number of driving hours? Driver fatigue is one of the top causes of road accidents, since a tired driver is unfit to adequately perceive and respond to situations on the road. Fatigue slows down your brain's ability to process information. And a microsleep behind the wheel could well lead to a serious accident. Hence it is imperative that companies ensure their drivers are well-rested and are allowed to pull over for a nap if the need arises. A better traffic adage would be, reach safe, not reach early. 

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