12 October, 2006

Crime at Satwa Roundabout

If you are at the pedestrian-cross on the Al Diyafah Street at the Satwa Roundabout, be extra cautious to take care of your life.

On the 10th October evening at about 9:30 pm, the signal was green for the pedestrians to go through – and people were crossing the street. As my wife and I took a step forward – to our absolute horror we saw a 4x4 taking an illegal right turn into Al Diyafah from the Mankhool road at break-neck speed. The idiot nearly killed a few of us who were about to cross the street at the moment.

Having lived in Dubai and seen how crazy some drivers are, it was a natural thing for us to check whether someone is about to run over us. The guy was driving too fast and we couldn’t note down the number as the light is not exactly too bright at the Satwa Junction. We are lucky to be alive.

Thirty minutes later, we were crossing back. We waited for the light to turn green, even though too many pedestrians were risking their lives by running across -- in spite of the light being red. The light turned green, we waited for five seconds as road traffic from Mankhool side was also open simultaneously. As we took two steps forward, there was another 4x4 speeding at us from the Mankhool road – another illegal turn, and an extremely dangerous thing too. Another act of crime.

Mind you, at that point of time the Diyafah Street going towards the west is empty and the guy just sped off – making it difficult for us to note down the number.

The scariest thing was – there was a lady crossing the street pushing a pram as well, completely oblivious to the danger that might run over her and the baby. I watched her carefully; she was only keeping an eye on the green pedestrian signal and not checking for some idiot taking an illegal right.

Having seen it happen twice in 30 minutes, I am sure this is a routine thing at the Satwa roundabout.
  1. How come there are no cops at the Satwa roundabout getting hold of these criminals?
  2. Would noting down the number and informing the cops be of any help?
  3. Would Dubai Police ban these people from driving in the UAE for a period of one year or more?
I just hope no pedestrian gets killed at the Diyafah Junction (Satwa Roundabout)… but I know I am hoping against hope.

The administration has to act immediately to take these criminals off the street.

7 comments:

Seabee said...

It's not only Satwa roundabout, that kind of murderous driving happens everywhere in Dubai.

"How come there are no cops there" you ask. Well, there are no cops anywhere checking on the moron drivers, that's a big part of the problem. Even if laws are in place they're not enforced.

Sheikh Hamdan (Dubai's next Crown Prince) has ordered the "enforcement of strict measures...to penalise reckless drivers" according to today's papers. But if there aren't enough traffic police I don't see how they can.

trailingspouse said...

Same problem at all the new crosswalks on Jumeirah Beach Road. Although most cars do slow down because of the humps, many do not see the flashing amber lights turn to solid amber before they turn red. As a result I have nearly been sliced in two on several occasions. As Seabee points out, the problem is enforcement. Rather than invest in speed cameras they need lots more cops on the roads (and ones who are prepared to do something as well).

Anonymous said...

Well we need are a few locals and Caucasian fatalities before the law(s) gets enforced. Truth be told the others are expendable and no one cares. Just look at the front page of 7rabiddogs. Laws shall be enforced because some white chick dies.

archer14 said...

In comparison to Dubai, not a single day passes without watching the 'Anjad' at work in Sharjah as I commute to work. Why is it that Dubai cannot enforce junior officers to catch hard shoulder drivers and speed maniacs? Is it because they are facing a shortage of officers? They have enough CIDs at work to catch 'car poolers' and other 'offences' which do not threaten lives.

In other news GN in association with (enter random dept. here) begins a 'public information drive' to educate people about the Dubai Metro. Incentives include chocolate flavored dates, and of course - your invaluable time.

marwan said...

Hate to be the conspiracy theorist, but we all know the kind of folks who hang out at Diyafah and there's nothing the cops could do to them, anyhow. It would just turn into another one of those dog-n-pony shows where the cops stand around scribbling away while rule breaking continues unabated.

I've always thought Satwa Roundabout is a twenty car pileup waiting to happen. The weird orange lighting makes it very hard to see traffic, while the tightness of the loop catches many drivers by surprise. This may be unpopular, but I'd recommend tearing up the thing and putting a proper junction in its place.

Re: Trailingspouse:
Granted, I don't spend much time in Dubai and am still very unfamiliar with the 'new' JBR, but damn if that crap ain't annoying. No proper signposting to let your know there's a hump coming up, a flashing light system which is used *nowhere* else in dubai.

The bottom line? Dubai traffic police are an embarassment. And I don't think it's just their low numbers. As Archer points out, if Wahabbist Sharjah can enforce every law using some old clapped out Cressidas and Cherokees, what are Dubai police doing, driving around the back of Emirates Tower in their flashy new H3s*?

* Spotted yesterday. What law enforcement's going on there?

Anonymous said...

marwan, you truly have been out of the country for long. sharjah now has new pathfinders. most of the cherokees have been replaced and the remaining (very) few will be replaced soon.

Curiosity said...

i used to live in the hardees blgd near satwa roundabout (before I left the UAE 3 months ago), and yes, its a very regular thing for drivers to take that right turn though there is no right turn sign there. And yes, I have seen cops there from time to time who have not stopped these drivers...most who were with ínfluencial' number plates or UAE nationals! I personally do not think anything will be done sooo, pedestrains MUST be the ones to be cautious.

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