RTA warns motorists to be extra-cautious on road while fasting or face the consequences
Traffic coming towards Sharjah on Ittihad road on the first day of Ramadan 2018. Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News
Dubai: Driving recklessly or causing danger to other road users will cost motorists Dh2,000, 23 black points and confiscation of the vehicle for 60 days, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has warned.
In a road safety campaign running since the beginning of Ramadan, RTA has sent a series of SMSes to motorists urging them to be extra careful while fasting.
The RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency has charted out an awareness plan to deliver a host of educative messages to motorists under a campaign named ‘Enjoy Your Fasting, Be Safe on Road’.
As part of the campaign, the RTA urges motorists to take proper rest before driving.
“Take full rest before driving, if you feel exhausted or drowsy, you have to cease driving immediately. Remember, driving a vehicle in a way that jeopardises a driver’s life or other people’s lives is a traffic violation punishable by Dh2,000, 23 black points and confiscation of the vehicle for 60 days,” reads a RTA safety SMS.
A variety of actions on road could be seen as causing danger to other road users, including sudden braking, reckless driving, sudden swerving, not giving way to pedestrians etc.
The RTA has also used social media platforms and other mediums to alert the public that fatigue and sleepiness while driving are serious triggers of traffic accidents.
It cautioned motorists against driving while feeling exhausted or drowsy, especially during Ramadan, where the attentiveness of some motorists might drop due to the change of eating and sleeping patterns.
“Variation in sleeping pattern and office timings during Ramadan tends to influence the concentration (level) of fasting motorists, which is clearly visible at the time of driving from office to home when the driver’s concentration drops to the minimum that impacts the ability of the driver to take the proper decision at the right time. Therefore, extra caution and attention are required when driving from the workplace to home to avoid accidents,” an RTA official said.
Most traffic accidents that take place in Ramadan are attributed to the lack of leaving a safe distance between vehicles. Drivers are therefore encouraged to be mindful of this.
Data suggests that 1,651 accidents attributed to lack of attention and rush hour traffic were reported during Ramadan last year.
Meanwhile, in a specially designed campaign jointly organised by Emirates Driving Institute, Dubai Driving Centre and Listerine Co, safety awareness is being created among heavy vehicle drivers.
The campaign advises truck drivers to keep the vehicle’s air-conditioners on while driving as the hot conditions lead to exhaustion.
“The driver has to maintain an upright position while seated and keep the head raised while driving. Drivers are recommended to take sufficient amount of rest before sitting behind the wheel and cease driving once feeling very tired, drowsy or yawning. Relaxing and resting for a short period may help the driver to complete the journey safely. Once drivers hear the call for Maghrib prayer while driving, they have to stop to take a light iftar, even if it is a glass of water and a few dates, before resuming the journey,” said the official.
Timings of truck movements have been changed for Ramadan and drivers have been advised to take note it.
Ramadan truck ban
From 7.30am to 9.30am
On E11 and Downtown
From 7am to 11pm
Tips for drivers
Avoid driving after taking a heavy meal, especially after fasting.
Be patient when driving during Ramadan, and leave a safe distance between vehicles.
Expect congestion and plan your trips in advance.
Avoid engaging in disputes with other motorists flouting traffic rules.
Avoid sudden swerving and maintain lane discipline.
Avoid rushing just before iftar time.
Be considerate and generous with other road users.