Reckless drivers should be exposed and dealt with

Safety starts with awareness, but it is supplemented by deterrent and enforcement

Cars line up in thickening traffic during the beginning of rush hour on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at an exit near the Sheikh Zayed road and the Sheikh Zayed tunnel in Abu Dhabi. A recent yougov survey-it says commute times in Abu Dhabi are down, and drivers are happier, but the roads still have a lot of inattentive drivers. (Silvia Razgova / The National)  (Usage: May 13, 2015, Section: NA, Reporter: ) *** Local Caption ***  SR-150513-traffic06.jpg
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The various long and short-term measures taken by the authorities to enhance road safety are important steps on the road to safety. As well as traffic-calming measures, mandatory seat belt laws and reductions to the speed limits on certain roads, the authorities have stepped up efforts to expose incidents of bad driving.

As The National reported, three people were recently arrested in an Abu Dhabi suburb after a failed stunt that could have endangered the lives of those around them. Officials from Abu Dhabi's traffic department came out in condemnation against the stunt and confiscated the vehicle. In addition, the driver was hit with 23 black points.

As the punishment suggests, incidents like these are not taken lightly by the authorities. Publicising this type of incident and giving at least some of the details of the driver and the circumstances of the accident are both powerful weapons for the authorities to use. They are also measures that this newspaper wholeheartedly supports. If they serve to make even one driver change his or her behaviour, then they will have made an impact. The great hope, of course, is that these stories provide pause for thought for the many rather than the few.

On Sunday, speed limits on the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and the Emirates Road were reduced from 120kph to 110kph. Authorities have warned there will be no leeway with these new limits. An artificial intelligence system of roadside scanners, meanwhile, will search for speeding and swerving cars near Dubai Tram junctions.

All of this is designed to reduce the road traffic death rate from approximately six deaths per 100,000 to half that number within four years. We should support these endeavours. They are in all of our best interests.

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