Ajman Police put epilepsy sufferers off road

Police and municipality take drastic steps after driver’s seizure resulted in crash that killed two restaurant diners.

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AJMAN // Police in Ajman will work with medical authorities to ensure sufferers of epilepsy or other conditions that can lead to seizures or blackouts cannot get behind the wheel of a car.

The move followed a crash at a McDonald's that killed two people this week, caused by a man having a seizure, and is being introduced alongside a plan to install protective barriers in front of any restaurant or shop in Ajman that has a glass facade.

Brig Sultan Al Nuaimi, general commander of Ajman Police, said sufferers of epilepsy or other conditions that can affect driving should not put their lives and those of others at risk by driving.

Police planned to work with Ajman Medical Zone to develop driver fitness certificates and also to warn suffers not to drive. If they were caught driving, their driving licence would be revoked.

Police have also teamed up with Ajman Municipality to push for metal barriers at restaurants, shops and cafes across the emirate that have glass facades.

A 22-year-old Emirati driver suffered an epileptic fit at the wheel of his pick-up on Sunday night and ploughed into a McDonald’s restaurant at an EPPCO station, killing a 45-year-old Asian woman and a nine-year-old Arab boy called Mustafa, injuring six others.

Brig Al Nuaimi said: “Precautionary and preventive measures were taken and have begun to be implemented, as the patrol and traffic department at Ajman Police has coordinated with the municipality to compel all patrol stations, restaurants and cafes with glass facades to install metal barriers, in line with the main requirements of the new buildings licences.”

Mustafa’s father, Saad Aidan, said his boy was named after a child that he lost at an early age.

"My two daughters suffered multiple fractures [in the McDonald's crash] and were in an unstable state," Mr Aidan told Aletihad, The National's Arabic sister paper. "They are now receiving treatment at the hospital and only God Almighty knows what will happen to them."

His daughters are nine-year-old Shawq and five-year-old Istabriq. The father called for punishment for the driver of the vehicle.

He said he was “perfectly sure that the UAE is the land of law”, that investigations into the accident will not let him down and that “any neglectful person must be brought before justice to become an example, accordingly with laws that do not distinguish between Emiratis and residents for we are all equal before the law.

“The person who caused the accident tore my life and that of my family into pieces in mere minutes.”

Mr Aidan said he did not want any financial compensation for the death of his son, he wanted the person responsible for his death to be held accountable.

He was with his children when the accident took place. He had gone to collect their food order when it happened.

Brig Al Nuaimi also reiterated the Ministry of Interior's warning against taking photos of crash scenes and posting them online as it was an invasion of people's privacy.

roueiti@thenational.ae