Safe-driving signs on lorries are not what they seem

Readers say the phone numbers on lorries and other heavy vehicles often don’t connect. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Readers say the phone numbers on lorries and other heavy vehicles often don’t connect. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

I refer to “Am I driving safely?” No, but there is no point in calling the number on the lorries (July 19), about the phone numbers displayed onheavy vehicles.

Many lorry and bus operators have found ways to get around this initiative. I cannot remember how many times I have been unable to reach the displayed number when I have witnessed a road-rage incident and tried to report it immediately.

There are three different scen­arios. One is where one or two digits are deliberately erased from the contact number; another is to provide a landline number that is never answered. A third is to display the number of a mobile phone that the offending driver himself is carrying.

When I do get through to the truck or bus operators, I never frame it as a complaint. Instead, I word it as a precaution, suggesting they keep their eye on a particular driver. Some companies have ­acknowledged my efforts and ­conveyed their thanks.

I feel that there is a need for a simple, easy-to-dial number to report all cases of bad driving. Companies operating lorries and buses should be required to register a contact number with the authorities, who would act on the complaint.

Road safety should be considered an integral part of our daily lives. Let us not ignore its importance, even for a minute.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

If a mobile number is displayed, there is a good chance it is for the driver of the vehicle.

Prakaash Lakhiani, Dubai

Opinions split over dogs in the UAE

Regarding Rosemary Behan’s opinion article, I rarely hear a barking dog in the UAE and long may that situation continue (July 20), if you came to the UAE in the 1970s or 1980s – even as late as the 1990s – you would not see too many dogs.

Most were brought over by expatriates and then left behind when their owners left.

It is not fair to blame society in the UAE for not being dog friendly. It’s not part of the local culture, but the problem has been dumped on our doorstep.

However, Behan is entitled to her opinion and we don’t all have to love having pets.

Aziza Al Busaidy, Dubai

I disagree with every single word in this article. I’m astonished that an author was allowed to write such nonsense.

If we follow Behan’s reasoning, why don’t we ban cats, falcons and journalists too? Valerio De Rossi, Dubai

Let’s not stop at silly pets; let’s ban cars that are loud and stink, and are dangerous. And children, who are even louder and smellier.

What about tourists? They create too much disorder. Why not close Dubai to any newcomers?

Alexander Schuetz, Germany

There are a lot of worse noises in the UAE than barking dogs.

Rowdy neighbours on week nights, huge fireworks for any reason and blaring loud speakers from homes make it hard for others to sleep.

Dogs are a blessing – forever faithful, they give us unconditional love. The world would be a far more loving place if we could be as forgiving as dogs. Tricia Sutherland, South Africa

If I read this correctly, Behan is not advocating a ban on dogs, she is merely asking that they be controlled.

I agree that certain areas should restrict dogs in the public interest. Furthermore, there should be a ban on certain dogs, such as pit bulls, that have been known to attack other dogs and people.

Randall Mohammed, Dubai

Joyriders could be trained properly

It was interesting to read Going nowhere fast: understanding the joyriders of Saudi Arabia (July 20).

Build them some professional tracks, and you might produce some good racing drivers.

Muzammil SK, Ajman

Rewards no way to beat obesity

I refer to Doctors raise fears about Dubai Municipality Your Child in Gold weight loss campaign (July 17).

I really don’t like the fact that children are involved in this. Although I see Dubai Municipality’s good intentions, my concern is that people would not be losing weight the healthy way.

Instead of cooking healthier meals and getting their children to be active, some people may choose a dangerous way – feeding their child less just to get the gold.

I’m not saying everyone would do that but it opens it up for those who might.

Name withheld by request

If Dubai Municipality is really seeking a lasting solution, it should be helping to change the mindset of overweight people.

They should be taught to think about being healthy, not just how to get slim.

M Salem, Dubai

Published: July 20, 2014 04:00 AM


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