Reckless Driving: Time to Press the Breaks?
January 29th, 2013, YouGov

Reckless Driving: Time to Press the Breaks?

Despite great personal risk and tough penalties, reckless driving is a widespread problem in the GCC. Road safety is a high priority for governments and key issues were recently addressed at the Gulf Traffic Conference in 2012.

The good news is that increased efforts have led to a significantly lower level of car accident deaths since 2009.

We set out to understand what views Lab participants have towards this issue in their country of residence.

Over half of the Lab respondents claim they drive a car or ride a motorcycle in their country of residence. Over four-fifths of Lab participants think that reckless/careless driving is an issue in their country of residence and according to many it is a ‘large issue’. When asked if they thought there were enough laws in place to tackle reckless/careless driving, half the participants agreed while half disagreed. In terms of the enforcement of laws against reckless/careless driving, only one in five felt that they were ‘very well enforced’ while two-fifths felt that they were ‘not very well enforced’.When asked about the state of road safety in their country of residence compared with that of other neighboring countries the majority of our labs participants felt that road safety in their country of residence is much worse.

When asked how the authorities can tackle this issue, respondents had the following suggestions:

"During my driving lessons I saw several short movies about careless driving where kids were killed. I think if periodically to show this on TV, in the cinemas it will reflect in mind of the people mind" Lola, UAE

"Availability of more Traffic Police at all intersections, so that lane discipline is maintained. More Mobile speed cameras frequently changing locations. Traffic loyalty point system for those who follow traffic rules. Traffic police execute laws without considering nationality, or race or religion. Traffic policemen should be more approachable and friendly" Najeem, Qatar

"The authorities must put strict laws to punish the offending to threaten the lives of others and a good selection of existing law" Mohamed Elmorce, Egypt

"Pass a law on making the use of car seats mandatory until a specific age, and make it illegal for children under 11 years old to be in the front seat. Also, ensure police cars are patrolling the streets more often rather than a policeman standing at the intersection noting down registration plates of offenders. Being stopped by the police will reinforce the message more than receiving a fine and not remembering what you did to get that fine" Lara, UAE