Drivers, passengers asked to pledge commitment to road safety

RoadSafetyUAE.com launched an initiative called 'Make UAE roads safer!' as part of Gulf Traffic Week.
Mohammed Al Otaiba, editor-in-chief of The National, receives an award at Gulf Traffic Week in Abu Dhabi. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
Mohammed Al Otaiba, editor-in-chief of The National, receives an award at Gulf Traffic Week in Abu Dhabi. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

ABU DHABI // Drivers and passengers are invited to sign a pledge to show their commitment to road safety.

RoadSafetyUAE.com launched the initiative “Make UAE roads safer!” on Sunday as part of Gulf Traffic Week, which ends on Saturday.

The aim is to collect 100,000 road-safety pledges by the end of the year. Each signatory pledges to say yes to seat belts and to using indicators, and no to speeding and using mobile phones without proper headsets.

“Road safety can only improve if we change the culture on our roads,” said Thomas Edelmann, the website’s founder. “We need to be aware of the proper conduct and we need to display it to everyone, every day.”

In the first phase of the initiative, drivers and passengers will make the pledge. They are encouraged to forward it to their family, friends and colleagues. Companies, educational institutions and organisations are also invited to sign the pledge and encourage others to do the same.

“Taking the pledge is a concrete action of rationalising and reminding ourselves how to do it right,” he said. “The pledge is more of a testimony of our commitment to enhance road safety. We need to ensure a culture of looking after each other on the road and taking the pledge is a good start.”

Mr Edelmann, however, acknowledged that it would take time for motorists to stop using phones while driving.

“But we need to start with a loud voice,” he said. “There are proper handsets available. Other people can take a call and texting while driving is a big no-no.”

Speeding, sudden lane changes without using indicators and failing to buckle up are some of the major causes of road-traffic injuries and fatalities.

“Let us be disciplined about leaving on time, be mindful of traffic congestion during rush hours and even in the event of running late, let us not speed,” he said. “Ask any motorsports expert or racer about speeding on the streets and they will tell you that speeding is for race tracks.”

The proper use of indicators is not only a sign of good manners and good behaviour, but will protect the driver and others on the road.

“Members of our society die every year because drivers are not using their indicators correctly,” Mr Edelmann said. “And if you love your family, you buckle up. If you love your kids, buckle them up.”

rruiz@thenational.ae

Published: March 9, 2014 04:00 AM

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