27 September, 2007

Rights of Motorists

I had almost given up blogging, except for a small incident which happened a few days ago & which motivated me to write this post. While patiently moving at a snail's pace during the afternoon rush hour, this realization dawned on me that maybe the "Road Warriors" see law abiding drivers as donkeys. Yes you read it right, donkeys. How?

Who are the road warriors? They are the rash drivers who show no respect for fellow road users. Especially more so during this Holy month of Ramadan since most of the offenders are Muslims. Imagine people driving on the hard shoulder and yellow lane & then trying to push their way into the proper lane before an exit or a traffic signal. And by the way, this rude behavior is not just limited to male species, even our females have also mashallah become experts in this. Is this what fasting teaches us?

Fasting is supposed to teach us patience, care & respect for others. But it seems that for most of us, the real spirit of Ramadan only means attacking the food the moment Muazzin says athan. Few months ago, I wrote about the Rights of Neighbors. I will quote few excerpts from that post here:
The preacher said that neighborhood is not limited just to houses. For a trader, the traders around him are his neighbors. For a worker, his co workers are his neighbors. For a student, his class mates are his neighbors. For a traveller, the people sitting around him in a bus, train or a plane are his neighbors. For a village, the villages around it are its neighbors. For a city or province, the cities and provinces around it are its neighbors. For a country, the countries around it are its neighbors.
Also I had mentioned these two ahadith:
Narrated by Abu Hurairah (R.A.) the Prophet (PBUH) said,

"By Allah, he is not a true believer, By Allah, he is not a true believer, By Allah, he is not a true believer (three times). He was asked 'Who?" Upon which he replied, "The one whose neighbors do not feel secure from his mischief and evil"

Narrated Jabir (R.A.), the Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said

"The neighbor with three rights is the neighbor who is a Muslim and a Relative (he has a claim as a neighbor, as a fellow Muslim and as a relative). The neighbor with two rights is the neighbor who is a Muslim (as such he has a claim as a neighbor as well as a fellow Muslim) and the the one with only one right is a non-Muslim neighbor (he has claim as a fellow human being)".
Drive safely & respect the rights of your neighbors (fellow motorists in this case). May Allah guide all of us to His right path :-)


Fahad Al Mahmood said...

May Allah rewards you for making this important point.

1400 years ago and for hundreds of years, true Muslims did not need law enforcers to organize their lives. Simply they knew very well that Allah is watching them and every move they make is counted.

Nowadays, true Muslims are rare. We should do good for the sake of Allah, not for avoiding a traffic ticket.

CG said...

If you can fast without affecting anyone elses mood then it is a true fast. Dragging others into your pit of despair shows only weakness.

As a rule (don't gun me down now) Muslim drivers are the worst out there, so make them hot, dizzy and parched and you have a perfect recipe for disaster.

Anonymous said...

cg: what is your religion?

Stained said...

muslims are the worst drivers....thats so smart of you cg...

well this topic has been brought up again and again with no improvement.....
instead of working together...the RTA is blaming the police for all the road problems when somebody needs to tell them that all those dividers that supposedly makes the way clear for all salik users is a pain in the back side...

BuJ said...

Honestly.. with more than 1 billion muslims i find it rather pointless to narrow down driving styles to "muslims".

Driving in general in the UAE is a risky business, with rudeness and lack of courtesy being the norm.

People use things like fasting as an excuse drive even worse. At the end of the day, fasting is an act between a person and Allah, no 3rd person should be involved.

Siyam maqbool + iftar shahee to all of you out there :)

archer14 said...

Most rash drivers look for that one inch of space that you would inadvertently give when they smash into your lane. But if you did hold your hand steady at the wheel without faltering and without reducing speed - they will not budge in. Its a scare tactic and it works almost every time - often more so with female drivers. Just drive steady and you're good to go. Also bumper to bumper driving is highly recommended so that no one gets a chance to get in.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday a NON-MUSLIM driver almost killed me, i was driving at 140 on emirates and he suddenly appeared behind me and starting flashing and honking, before i could change lane, he overtook me from the hard-shoulder and was inches from hitting me at that high speed. i know he wasn't a Muslim because he had one of those sikh signs on his rear window.

secretdubai said...

The worst drivers are generally those who have never been exposed to driving in "western" countries.

Take anyone of any nationality and have them drive in the UK for a few months, and they should become a more enlightened, safer and more courteous driver - by dint of the fact that if they don't, they probably won't keep their UK licence for very long.

Sure there are appalling drivers from western countries, but they tend to be a minority because road rules are stricter there as well as more strictly enforced. And of course there are safe regional drivers, but not proportionally as many as safe US/Australia/western European drivers, let alone numerically.

I don't blame regional drivers so much for being ignorant and arrogant, I blame regional police and driving authorities for failing time and time again to heed the example and advice of people from countries with far lower road accident, injury and death rates.

We all know lane discipline is one of the greatest issues in UAE driving - has anyone ever, at any time, seen the UAE police acknowledge this or make it a major part of a campaign? Nope. I don't think they even understand what is meant by it. After all, they grew up without the concept and were certainly never taught it by any local instructors. Totally the blind leading the blind.

And yeah this might sound arrogant but the figures speak for themselves, and I'm sick of reading about people being killed on the UAE roads. Visiting Europe again just reinforced my memory of how much better people drive there than in the Gulf.

I will admit that I drive more dangerously and selfishly in the Gulf too, because I know I can get away with it. But still not as dangerously as blacked out sheikhmobiles flashing their lights 10mm from my bumper, or white Nissan Sunnymen doing 40kmph in the "fast" lane.

Hamid said...

UAE is full of bad drivers, no matter what nationality or religion. police here aren't doing such a good job in actually training people how to drive properly. 99% of the driving instructors themselves don't follow the traffic rules when driving, so how do you expect them to teach other people.

Paraglider said...

Forgive me if I miss the point, but surely when you buy a large expensive vehicle, you are buying the right to be in front of any smaller or less expensive vehicle, and are therefore quite entitled to achieve this position by fair means or foul? Surely if we were expected to wait in line, all vehicles would cost the same?

Anonymous said...

In the UK driving is tottaly opposite to most countries in the world. Take people to UK to drive they end up walking on their hands.Take people to what you call GREAT BRITAIN and they become so stuck up,they can't drive.

Anonymous said...

To paraglider and anyone who believes that size matters, well...IT DOES NOT... rules and regulations are what matters and they are equal for all participants of the event, OK?
If only those running arround would ever make analisys of time they "SAVED", they might understand that it is not worth their or others life. Having road like Sh.Z regulated to what we call back home "green wave" you would have fantastic conditions on such mega structure.

rosh said...

"police here aren't doing such a good job in actually training people how to drive properly"

I don't think it's not all about the training - people must incorporate some culture, civility and other positive mannerisms into driving. You can train/fine and brain wash all you want - however unless drivers stop being selfish, rude and arrogant - the training is not going to help much.

Paraglider said...

{{{To paraglider and anyone who believes that size matters, well...IT DOES NOT... rules and regulations are what matters and they are equal for all participants of the event, OK?}}}

...confirming once again that anonymous posters have no sense of humour, still less of irony...

Anonymous said...

Më fal, Më fal...Para, don't get angry, just used your point to get rid of my frustration, imagine experienced same again, today...
hope is better in Doha ;0)

taking your point I have a feeling that buying a truck might solve my problem..so hel me will put sticker on SIZE MATTERS,


secretdubai said...

In the UK driving is tottaly opposite to most countries in the world. Take people to UK to drive they end up walking on their hands.Take people to what you call GREAT BRITAIN and they become so stuck up,they can't drive.

The UK has a far lower road accident and death rate than the UAE, so go figure.

It's not being stuck up, it's being a better and safer driver.

Blue Banana said...

i fully 100% support whoever says driving in the UK makes a person a totally different and better driver.

I'm a yemeni guy, driving in Yemen is one of the worst experiences a person can have and I got used to it.

I studied in the UK for 4 years where I also got a british driving license and used to drive around cities and motorways... and I can truly say it has made me alot better...
now that i visited the uae after graduation and rented a car here, I could come up with a flaw or mistake in every road and corner!!!
from the driving of the people, layout of the streets, road signs, diversions..... everything is just a mess in comparision to the UK!! and i'm not exaggerating

and of course in the other hand, Yemen is a mess in comparison to UAE, so there we go =p

Anonymous said...

About ppl who have driven in UK.
It may not be that simple to compare them with UAE dirvers.
In UK the public transport is excellent. It is only ppl who have the real need and the apptitude to drive a vehicle who generally go for a driving licence. In the UAE who are forced to go in for driving licence (although they may actually dislike/fear driving) due to the circumstance like no adequate public transport or having to take up accomadation in different emirate due to rent. It could be this type of drivers who get bullied by the kamikazies that may be may be cause of these accidents.
Sadly there seems to be no effective solution in the near future.

Cinderella said...

Paraglider, your post makes me laugh, nice sense of humour :) It's a bit like George Orwell's Animal Farm concept, "all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than other animals"! ;)

Seriously, DG, I agree with you and thanks for the reminder from the Hadith. Peace and ramadan kareem to all!

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