Make drivers understand the danger

Several readers comment on our story about young people being shown some blunt evidence of traffic risks. Other letters touch on rebel chic, school fees, smart phones, pool inspections, and wasabi shrimp.

Three readers comment on a story about driver education, praising a new programme that brought together about 2,000 young people to show them the awful consequences of unsafe driving. Courtesy Dubai Police
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After reading Crash footage hits home at world's biggest traffic safety lecture (October 11) and the shocking comments made by some of the students, I was left to wonder: is there any driver education going on in UAE schools?

Driver education is a regular part of course curricula in countries that have moved outside the realm of the third world. And yet here we have a 16-year-old who fails to understand the importance of stopping at a red light.

It is good that the police are emphasising that road responsibility is an act of national patriotism.

We must go a step farther however. Driver education must be a part of all teenagers' basic education before anyone hands them a set of car keys.

Cora Yanacek, Abu Dhabi

I was particularly shocked by the 16-year-old girl who said "I thought driving through red lights was OK". Unbelievable.

What would traffic lights be there for then? Is it possible that people are really that simple?

On the other hand nothing surprises me: the way many do drive through red lights and stop signs, swerve into other cars while texting, drive at ridiculous speeds ... and all without repercussion unless there's an accident.

I have a question for all those drivers: where on Earth are you going in such a hurry?

Chris Murray, Abu Dhabi

That story was enough to scare anyone who gets near a roadway.

Obviously this programme of showing crash footage to young people is a valuable way to get the message across: cars are not video games, you don't get extra lives and so you have to be careful.

In my opinion every single teenager in the country should be made to see this.

Hamid Daoud, Dubai

Fashion trends from Libya rebels

The editorial Fashion faux pas (October 11) was quite right: condescending to labourers by using them for fashion inspiration is somewhat shameful.

But I admit I couldn't help thinking about fashion as I have been looking at photos of Libyan rebel fighters in The National over recent weeks. Hard helmets will never catch on for models on the catwalks of Paris or Milan, but there was one shot last week of a man in a neat little hipster hat, firing his rifle over the barricades. Chic!

Teresa Mahoney, Abu Dhabi

Private schools make money

Your story Adec warns schools not to go overboard on fees (October 10) prompts me to note that these schools are for-profit businesses.

To judge from the financial status of some of the owners, they are profiting quite well.

If they want to pay for school facilities then they should do so out of their profits and not on the backs of the parents.

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

Phone is smarter than owner

I suppose the newest high-tech service (Etisalat to roll out mobile payments, October 11) qualifies as good news.

But am I alone in finding that there's a steep learning curve on all this new gadgetry? I'm still trying to figure out how to use some of the older features on my phone. I'm not sure I'm smart enough to use a smart phone.

Elspeth Morgan, Dubai

Pool inspections are essential

My family and I were glad to see that swimming pools are going to be inspected more carefully (Water quality under the microscope, October 12).

We have had some strange skin problems and suspect they have to do with a nearby pool, although friends have not been affected.

Name withheld by request

Problem is not at the university level

New help for students to cut university first-year dropouts (October 11) suggests to me that the emphasis is being placed at the wrong level.

If students are arriving at university unable to perform at the expected level, the problem is not in the universities, but rather at lower levels in the school system. That's where the attention and money should be applied.

VJ Mehta, Dubai

Prawn recipe is nice and simple

Thank you for the wasabi prawn recipe (Cooking with … Sam Leong, October 11).

I find that many of your celebrity-chef recipes require strange ingredients or elaborate preparation.

But this recipe is simple and quick, and yet the finished product looked simply mouth-watering. We'll be trying this recipe soon.

Tom Rochester, Dubai