A safety campaign by online food delivery company Talabat will reward motorbike couriers with the best safety records in an attempt to reduce accidents involving its riders.
To qualify for a monetary reward, Talabat delivery riders must have no fines and not be involved in a minor or major accident during the previous three months. Talabat will also host an event to publicly recognise the best riders in their fleet.
Talabat, one of the fastest-growing food delivery networks in the region, will stage a road safety week from March 28 to improve riders' knowledge of UAE traffic laws and how to stay safe. The plan is for safety weeks to be held several times a year.
The safety awareness campaign will extend to the public to remind motorists about the importance of being mindful of smaller vehicles on the road.
“Road safety starts with all of us,” said Tatiana Rahal, managing director at Talabat UAE.
“It’s a culture of awareness on our roads and respect for every road user, whether it be a pedestrian, a cyclist, a car, a motorbike, or a heavy vehicle.
“By dedicating a special week for road safety, we aim to lead by example and raise awareness among the public in general and riders in specific, to drive safely and avoid dangerous acts like speeding and overtaking other cars.
“We are also rewarding riders who adhere to traffic rules, to encourage positive behaviour.”
Ms Rahal said they will use their social media platforms to convey their safety message with the public.
Biggest challenges on the road
Talabat said it decided to introduce more training after holding rider focus groups.
Delivery riders shared some of their biggest challenges on the road, which included other motorists changing lanes quickly without using indicators, stopping suddenly without activating blinkers, or driving too fast and tailgating.
Riders also appealed to road users, especially big vehicles, to pay more attention to smaller vehicles to help keep them and others safe.
There has been a steady increase in the number of motorbike delivery riders on the roads of the UAE, fuelled in part by home working during the pandemic.
In 2018, 4,046 applications were made to ride a motorcycle in Dubai, a number that rose to 5,787 a year later.
A dual report by Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority and campaign group RoadSafetyUAE recorded a 29 per cent increase in accidents involving motorbikes in 2019, compared with 2018.
That has led to an increased drive towards better training for delivery riders.
So far in 2022, Talabat has held more than 20 rider road safety training sessions in collaboration with regulatory authorities and about 30 internal awareness campaigns.
“We are proud to have our headquarters here in the UAE and be able to work closely with the authorities to further enhance rider safety in 2022, as it continues to be a top priority for us,” Ms Rahal said.
“With an exponential increase in the number of motorbikes on the road, further propelled by the pandemic, it is important to remember that driving responsibly is a duty that falls on every road user.
“We believe that it is through collaboration between the public and private sector, as well as the community, that we will achieve the best results.”