All for road safety

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All for road safety

A repeat post to promote road safety – original published on 14 October 2011.

As a regular reader of Khaleej Times, and as a traffic safety campaigner in my own capacity, I am extremely happy to note the Khaleej Times Traffic Safety Campaign kicking off. But I feel that we should not just make it UAE specific, but global.

I happened to campaign for traffic and road safety after the tragic loss of two sets of lives connected to me.

One was my own brother-in- law who was killed by a speeding water tanker in Bangalore and another was my Mathematics teacher and her entire family who died in an accident in Abu Dhabi.

Both were irreparable losses to me, my family and to those affected. A moment of resilience and due diligence and all those lives could have been saved. But it didn’t happen.

I still remember the phone calls of my brother-in-law Rajeev Menon, the pleasing smile of my mathematics teacher Mrs. Victoria D’Souza and her son and their immediate family who perished in that accident. Their memories still remain with me even after many years.

I used to be a speedster myself but after those incidents I can honestly tell you that I have never violated the rules and have never incurred any traffic fines or penalties. Whenever I have witnessed an incident of road rage or an anomaly, I have campaigned heavily using my blog or other available ‘Have Your Say programmes’ to stop or control such acts being repeated in future.

One such incident I still remember was the massive road pile up that happened on the Abu Dhabi–Dubai highway two years ago on a foggy morning. On my way to Dubai Academic City to sit for an exam early in the morning, I witnessed a 35-seater bus speeding and flashing lights behind me, when there was absolutely no visibility due to the heavy fog. Probably, the driver was a regular motorist on the route and he knew the road and turnings inside out, but his actions really scared me. I allowed him to overtake me with some hesitance but noted his number and company details. After reaching Abu Dhabi I tried calling the company to notify them but they were closed.

Next morning when I read the news I learnt of the pile up that happened on the highway and immediately remembered to call them. But, till evening I couldn’t and around 5 pm when I was able to establish contact with the PRO of that company and informed him of the incident of the previous day, I was told that one of the buses was involved in the accident. Probably, it was the same driver, and the same set of passengers.

It is the duty of every road user to report violent driving habits and rash driving. Do not hesitate. One minute or one hesitant instance of your reporting may result in the loss of many lives.

Do follow the safety rules all the time. Let the initiative be taken up by all national associations, all corporate companies, all transport organisations and let us not hear about one human caused tragedy in the coming months.

Do not use mobiles, do not read papers or bills while driving, do not text. Most importantly, do not drink and drive.
Best wishes to all safety campaigners. –

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

A repeat post to promote road safety – original published on 14 October 2011.

To read in original, please visit Khaleej Times Online

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