Motorists warned against ‘careless, show-off driving’ on UAE National Day

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Road safety experts are urging motorists in the United Arab Emirates to drive with caution during the country’s 51st National Day celebrations as police warn they will be stepping up patrols to thwart dangerous driving.

It is set to be a long weekend of festivities to mark the National Day celebrations and the country’s Commemoration Day, with many residents enjoying an extended break to mark the occasion.

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However, Thomas Edelmann, managing director at Road Safety UAE, told Al Arabiya English that the annual festivities often bring a spike in traffic accidents. This, he said, is often due to careless driving and obstructed views due to National Day flags and decorations on vehicles.

“Typically on this precious day we see accidents happen related to obstructed obscured views, a bit of a careless attitude, show-off driving, creating traffic obstructions, speeding and more,” he said. “The most important ingredient is to show a caring and considerate attitude to ourselves, our passengers and to other road users.”

“Let's watch out for each other. Let's make sure that we still see properly and that we don't obscure our view. Let's watch out for the other cars and traffic participants around us, especially the vulnerable road users like pedestrians, bicycle riders, motorcycle riders.”

Common motorist habits include reckless driving and endangering the lives of others on the country’s roads, he said.

“Let's stay cool and relaxed, as there is no reason to rush. Let's enjoy the 51st UAE National Day in a responsible manner honoring the great country we all live in together.”

In Dubai, police have also warned against driving dangerously and have said they will be stepping up patrols to ensure smooth traffic flow during the celebrations and fine those who display bad driving behavior.

They warned motorists that decorations must not modify the colors of the vehicle, urging drivers to ensure their cars' front or back license plates must not be obscured or covered, and said that reckless driving and stunts are prohibited.

Rallies – where motorists race each other on the roads – are also strictly banned, they said, adding that motorists should not obstruct traffic or block other drivers’ way. Seatbelts must be worn at all times.

Reckless drivers who endanger the lives of other road users can be fined $544.50, have their vehicle impounded for 60 days and receive 23 black points, as per traffic law.

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