Drivers need more training on road rules

Readers urge drivers to respect pedestrians. Other topics: Lockheed Martin, happiness, Sidney Poitier

The suggestion to install warning lights to make it safer for pedestrians to cross zebra crossings without traffic lights or a stop sign is useful (Proposed flashing signals for road crossings would help pedestrians, experts say, February 19). But I am afraid that nothing will work until drivers learn to respect the rules of the road.

Driver training and enforcement lie at the heart of every road-related issue.

I would suggest that pedestrian lights be installed once drivers are educated. Otherwise, some more lives will be lost.

Peter Hall, Dubai

Regarding your editorial Drive to boost a pedestrian safety culture (February 21), you risk your life while walking over a zebra crossing.

Most cars will not stop for you and when you are half way across the crossing cars flash at you or honk. Many drivers do not seem to know what a zebra crossing is.

Tracy Brownlie Denison, Abu Dhabi

Many years ago, I was fined Dh500 and received six black points for not stopping at a zebra crossing. Now I always stop at zebra crossings as I was brought up with the Green Cross Code and in a culture that follows it.

In this particular incident, the pedestrian was in the central reservation area and stepped on to the pedestrian crossing as I was driving over it on the pavement side.

When I challenged the behaviour of the pedestrian with the traffic police, they said: “We know, but unfortunately some people don’t know how to use pedestrian crossings.” In other words they basically admitted that I wasn’t in the wrong, yet I had to pay.

This article talks about drivers only. How about educating people that they should look left, then right, then left again quickly to make sure there are no cars?

Name withheld by request

The promise of airships

In general, Lockheed Martin's exclusive reseller of hybrid airships, Hybrid Enterprises, is doing an excellent job of educating potential end-users around the world as to what this new variation of an old technology will offer (Lockheed Martin's airship needs no airport to deliver hundreds of tonnes in Africa, February 21).

Lockheed Martin, together with its British rival, Hybrid Air Vehicles, is set to offer a game-changing capability to a user community that is not yet geared up to operate these giants of the sky.

Here in the Arabian Gulf, work is already ongoing to prepare the way to bring hybrids to the region soon after they achieve type certification in the US and Europe.

Lockheed Martin is slightly behind HAV at present and readers will be able to judge the technology’s benefits for themselves once flight testing in the UK resumes in the next few weeks in what is bound to be a blaze of publicity.

Gregory Gottlieb, Dubai

Why happiness is so important

Regarding Fatima Al Shamsi's opinion article A happiness audit might guide the new minister (February 19), gross national happiness is a much richer objective than GDP or economic growth. In GNH, material well-being is important, but it is also important to enjoy sufficient well-being in things such as community, culture, governance, knowledge and wisdom, health, spirituality and psychological welfare, a balanced use of time and harmony with the environment.

Kathy Lee, Abu Dhabi

In praise of Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier is easily one of the best actors to grace the screen at the Bafta award ceremony (Newsmaker: Sidney Poitier, February 21). He is captivating, interesting and connects with the audience in a way few ever have. Add to that the class he showed in incredibly difficult times and the weight he carried as one of the few prominent black actors for decades.

Just reading about him has me ready to watch Blackboard Jungle and To Sir With Love again.

John Francis, US