What's the hurry on the roads?

Published: Tue 30 Jan 2018, 9:49 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Jan 2018, 11:50 PM

Not a day passes without reports of accidents on our roads. This despite having the best highway network in the world and also the technology to manage and control traffic. A smart network integrates all departments of the government for greater efficiency to monitor the flow of vehicles. But despite the best efforts from police and road authorities, accidents happen. Many are fatal. On Tuesday, two people died when the driver of the vehicle in which they were travelling lost control and veered off the road. Three others were injured in the accident. Initial investigations revealed the driver was speeding. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims. We also wish the injured a speedy recovery. Some people drive the best cars money can buy but use them to muscle other road-users out of their way. They bully motorists by flashing their headlights, honking and tailgating. Others are simply in a hurry to get to their destination.
The UAE is home to more than 200 nationalities and people bring their driving habits from back home. Once the training process is completed, the test is passed and the licence is in the pocket, they drive the way they please throwing all good sense out the window. Police have installed speed radars and cameras and have even brought speeds down on highways, while increasing speed limits on others. They have hiked fines for dangerous driving. In some cases, they have even offered discounts. Authorities are doing their part, and we applaud their efforts, but fatalities remain a concern. Speeding, tailgating, changing lanes in a hurry, driving without strapping on seatbelts and not keeping a safe distance are common infractions. In fact, 60 per cent of road fatalities in Abu Dhabi happened because motorists failed to use their seatbelts. For the record, road accidents killed 230 people in the country last year. The UAE hopes to bring it down zero by 2030. Motorists must realise that they have a responsibility to themselves and to others on the road. The statistics are stark, but it's still not late to change course with safe driving.

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