The law says safety is the first priority on UAE highways

Road rules require drivers to be safe, not to give way to speeding drivers, readers say. Other topics: prayer and changing the culture of cheating.

Readers challenge claims that the five daily prayers are causing high rates of knee injuries. Photo: Jeff Topping / The National
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One of the correspondents on your letters page, Roshan Ajit Kumar, responded to your story (Briton convicted of endangering other motorist in Dubai road rage incident, July 7) with the claim that the law in the UAE requires drivers in the fast lane to make way for faster traffic, even if they are doing the speed limit.

As a transport professional working in the UAE, I can say the law says no such thing. The Federal Traffic Law 21 of 1995 states that you must not undertake on the right side, which the Briton in question did, and this law also says that you must not do “anything unsafe”.

If braking to forcibly stop a car in the fast lane is not unsafe then I don’t know what is.

This law also says that you should travel in the right hand lane and use other lanes for overtaking only. If there is space for a driver to pull into a lane to the right safely, they should do so.

This does not mean that aggressive and dangerous drivers should take the law into their own hands.

These simple rules of the road should be widely publicised by The National in its road safety campaign, and especially during this holy month of charity and reflection.

Name withheld by request

I wish Roshan Ajit Kumar would be kind enough to review his traffic safety knowledge before making false statements on behalf of the government.

As a traffic safety ambassador in the UAE, I and my colleagues are rather interested in the part of the law in which he claims drivers must give way to faster traffic no matter what the speed limit.

And is he sure that in saluting the British driver who was charged that he includes the part about driving on the hard shoulder?

I hope he reviews the latest amendments – there is no need for him to cause anyone to be added to the statistics of the deceased.

I hope he lets the police make accurate statements and spare his energy to focus on the road.

Marina Helmgens, Abu Dhabi

Blame obesity, not prayer schedules

I would like to respond to your article, Obesity and prayer damages knees (July 7), in which the writer quotes a Mafraq Hospital consultant surgeon directly linking knee arthritis to the "kneeling lifestyle" of Muslims.

Proper prostration involves the distribution of one’s weight across seven points: the forehead, palms, knees and balls of the feet.

In the situation where health reasons make that position too difficult, it is recommended to pray in a modified seated position, either on the floor or in a chair.

The doctor states that the knee joint was not designed for kneeling several times a day. I would contend that instead the truth is that the knee joint was not designed for obesity.

Maintaining a lifestyle that results in obesity is the real issue in the case of knee replacement. Given moderate food intake and exercise, the prescribed prayer is an optimal routine for day-to-day physical and spiritual maintenance.

It is offensive to suggest that kneeling down prostrate to God poses a health risk.

Umm Yusef, Al Ain

It was interesting that the two Muslim experts who are quoted in this story do not make any comment regarding prayer being a cause of physical problems. That claim is only made by others.

I could provide countless examples of research that prove how the positions in a Muslim prayer are beneficial for our physical being, but it is not my job to do that.

I am only going to point out that this article seemed disrespectful and appeared to be intended to offend your Muslim readers.

Kinza Khan, Dubai

A cheating solution that helps students

In reference to your article, 80 per cent of university students admit to cheating, UAE study finds (June 30), my view as a teacher working in the UAE is that cheating will continue for as long as education is knowledge-based and not application-based. Teachers need to get on board with learning that is application based.

I find it inspiring to hear my students say they could not cheat because they were required to demonstrate and explain what they had learnt.

It’s true that this approach makes test preparation more difficult but it is time that teachers required of their students what will be required of them after they leave school if they are to succeed in employment.

Name withheld by request

Extending death penalty’s reach

The proposal for the death penalty for those who start secret organisations (Special FNC session to discuss terror law, July8) is excellent but why does it only apply to kidnapping for terrorism reasons?

What about kidnapping for other general reasons? It should also be for sexual abuse, domestic violence and rape.

Michelle Salem, Abu Dhabi