I am an expat living in Dubai since 22 years, and I am also appalled by the lack of use of indicators as reported in the media this morning.
Or course, over the years, the standards of driving have improved, especially since left side hard shoulders on main highways have been made so narrow that overtaking there has become impossible.
But an awful lot still needs to be done:
- the police needs to become much more confrontational, instead of being largely unseen or keeping a low profile until accidents have happened. Not only should the cops be parking their cars in very strategic spots in order to deter speeding and other bad behavior such as jumping queues. But they should also pull drivers on the side of the roads for random checks of licenses, registration and insurance.
- there is a number of people not thinking of switching their headlights on at sunset, which is a disaster when the color of the cars is dark and similar to the dark night and tarmac. Similarly a huge number of cars driving with some lights not working seem to be totally undeterred about it when being signaled.
An 800 police number should be available to report them for the sake of their own safety and of the other drivers. They could be called to a specific police station within a few days to prove that the problem is resolved in order not to be fined. Thirdly, quite a big proportion of the drivers whose cars have front fog lights, do switch them on in normal weather conditions with their dim lights. And they don’t bother to switch their cruising lights at all. I don’t think the law allows that, and yet this seems to be unpunished.
- as to the indicators issue, sorry to say that the policemen themselves very often don’t use them where they should be setting the example!!!
And having been here long enough and being invited to a lot of majlis meetings, I know how crucial it is to greet all other male attendees by shaking their hand. It is very deeply ingrained in the local culture to do so, or otherwise be considered as an ignorant or arrogant visitor.
Therefore why would some well designed police or RTA tv or radio commercials not be made by making a parallel between one not using his indicator, and one not greeting people personally by shaking hands when arriving in a group meeting?
I think that such a publicity would have a great impact on people’s minds and suddenly make them realize that respecting the other users of the roads is not only a matter of proving courtesy and politeness, but also of safety. In all occasions when changing lanes but especially when trying to bully others by jumping the queues.