Experts urge residents to be cautious and maintain proper etiquette while celebrating a happy and safe Eid al-Adha.
This is the time of the year when Muslims all over the world celebrate the Eid al-Adha, and the UAE is no exception. A diverse foreign population is also an integral part of the celebration.
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For the six-day Eid al-Fitr weekend starting from Monday, families and individuals are preparing to celebrate it in a grand way. Most people will gather together or visit relatives or friends to bless them. Some people also plan to do accommodation or road trips in other emirates to discover some hidden gems, while others may head to shopping centers or beaches.
But the holidays are also full of risks, because many motorists will drive on the roads of the UAE. Over the years, the holiday accident rate has increased sharply, especially on Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha and New Year’s Eve. Road safety experts in the UAE warned residents of these risks and urged them to be cautious and maintain proper etiquette while celebrating the happy and safe Eid al-Adha.
Thomas Edelmann, the founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, said: “Festivals like Eid al-Fitr, Holy Month, Holidays/New Years create more traffic than usual, because we want to see the people around us, our families, our Friends.” Khaleej Times.
This usually leads to minor or major accidents. The terrible bus accident that killed 17 people during Eid al-Fitr in June 2019 is still fresh in my memory.
The cause of such accidents is that the driver is eager to reach the destination, distracted and obsessed with speeding. They also turn in the lane, which makes it even more dangerous.
Edelmann said: “Drivers often anticipate gatherings and drive in a distracted manner, which can lead to the speeding, lane changes and other forms of unfortunate misconduct we encounter on the road.”
Accidents over the years
Despite repeated warnings from police across the country, many accidents have occurred during the holiday season over the years.
During the five-day Eid al-Fitr holiday last year, Dubai Police recorded 412 accidents and they received 24,198 hotline calls-19,317 were made through the 999 emergency hotline and 4,881 were made through 901. Said it was due to speeding and trailing.
According to data from the Dubai Police Command and Control Center, during the Eid al-Adha holiday in August 2019, a total of 950 accidents were reported and 28,603 calls were made to their emergency hotline.
The director of the center, Colonel Turki bin Fares, explained that speeding, trailing, distracted driving and sudden lane changes were some of the causes of the accident.
According to Dubai Police, during the Eid al-Adha holiday in August 2018, 1,661 accidents were recorded and 68,203 phone calls were received.
And, again, the most common causes are speeding, sudden steering, not leaving enough distance between vehicles, and neglect of road users.
In the first week of Ramadan this year, Sharjah reported more than 1,400 minor accidents. The reasons were sudden lane changes, insufficient distance between the two vehicles, negligence of the driver, negligence and speeding.
Edelmann reiterated the importance of time management to avoid such accidents.
“The element of time management is also important because we have a tendency to be late for appointments and then try to catch up with the lost time on the road,” he said.
Edelmann founded RoadSafetyUAE after working in the corporate world for 25 years. He advises motorists to plan their trips in advance and focus on the road while driving.
“Our advice to motorists is to plan their trip well, leave early, stay focused when driving, and follow the best manners and road manners,” Edelman suggested.
Dubai Police will deploy 120 patrols
The Dubai Police is fully prepared and well equipped to deal with any possible situation and will deploy 120 patrols to ensure the safety of motorists and road users.
These will be mainly located in Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, JBR, City Walk, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd, Festival City, Mirdif City Centre, La Mer, Kite Beach, Airport St, Al Seef St, Sheikh and other areas Mohammed bin Zayed Rd , Emirates Rd, Dubai-Al Ain Rd, Al Etihad Rd, Al Khaleej St, Al Quds St, Amman St, Academic City St, Ras Al Khor St and Jumeirah St.
Colonel Juma Salem bin Suwaidan, Acting Director of the Transport Department of Dubai Police said: “We have instructed our traffic police patrols and guards to step up their efforts to protect people’s lives and ensure their happiness, especially at this joyous moment.”