Dubai Police’s command and control centre has received 154,491 calls and reports of 3,973 traffic accidents since the start of Ramadan.
The police explained that in the hours leading up to iftar, drivers can feel under an increased urgency to get places quickly, and those fasting may experience feeling of nervousness – which can contribute to mistakes.
Colonel Turki bin Fares, Director of the Command and Control Centre, said that traffic accidents are caused by excessive speed, especially before iftar, as well as not leaving drivers enough distance between vehicles, not staying in lane and lack of attention while driving. Colonel Fares also reminded people to call 999 only in emergencies.
Police are running a campaign to warn drivers of an increased need to be vigilant on the roads over the Ramadan period. Last year’s Ramadan driver safety awareness campaign coincided with a drastic decrease in road deaths from from 22 in 2016, to six in 2017. The target of course is to get that number down to zero, and there will be an increased police presence around key locations (such as mosques and malls) at relevant times, to help ensure road users are obeying traffic regulations.
Road Safety UAE has compiled a number of best practice safety tips we should be following throughout the year but are of special relevance during this period:
- Use public transport wherever possible
- Always ensure you and your passengers are wearing a seatbelt
- Remember safe driving distances, do not tailgate
- If you experience somebody driving aggressively, do not engage in competitive or reactionary behaviour
- Plan your journey ahead, allow extra time to get where you need to go
- Approach crossings and signals carefully, do not jump lights
- Be aware of your surroundings, anticipate movements of pedestrians and cyclists
- Make sure your headlights are switched on for dusk
- Accept that being late is sometimes an inevitability, people will understand, safety is the ultimate priority
- Make use of your indicators, you may be confident of your own driving abilities but you still need to make other motorists aware of your intentions on the road.
- Drive defensively, do not swerve or make sudden lane alterations unless confronted with immediate obstructive danger – always ensure you use your mirrors and check blind spots before moving.
- Be extra careful in the hours leading up to iftar and in morning rush hours.
- Do not drive if you are feeling tired. There are many MUCH safer alternatives.
Remember that during this time of inward reflection, of respect and selflessness, it becomes immediately important to ourselves and our families to ensure we behave safely in all aspects of life.