Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cracking Down on Reckless Driving

Two articles caught my eye in the Dec. 17th issue of the Khaleej Times.

One said a new radar was being installed on Mussafah Bridge to catch speeders. I hope this will help prevent another tragic accident there. The other article said, "Around 71 reckless drivers of various nationalities were detained for a week and had to carry out community service on the capital's roads and in schools for 48 hours. Their vehicles have been impounded for a month."

If you meet someone new to Abu Dhabi and chat for a few minutes, invariably the conversation will get around to how dangerous it is to drive here. One often sees either a serious accident or the wreckage from one that has just happened. It used to send chills up my spine but now I am used to it. (I've been told it's even worse in Doha, Qatar.)

There's a website in Abu Dhabi that lists all tickets for driving violations by the license-plate number. A friend's husband typed in her license number and they were surprised to see that she'd gotten a ticket. It was for talking on her cell phone while driving. Noone stopped her at the time, but since my friend hardly ever answers her phone while driving she remembers the one time she did. She answered the call because it was her husband(!). Unbeknownst to my friend, the police were watching.

Maybe these are signs that Abu Dhabi is taking steps to make things safer on the roads here.

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