4 DEATHS

Police of­fi­cial says quad bik­ing should be re­stricted to safe zone

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @alial­shouk ali.shouk@7days.ae

Desert quad bik­ing should be banned ex­cept in con­trolled ar­eas if Dubai is to cut down on ac­ci­dent deaths, a se­nior police of­fi­cer has said.

General Mo­hammed Saif Al Zafeen, As­sis­tant Chief of Dubai Police for Op­er­a­tions, made the com­ments as the force be­gan a new cam­paign in which riders are urged to wear pro­tec­tion if tak­ing to the dunes. The cam­paign was launched to co­in­cide with the school spring break hol­i­days.

But he said the only way to en­sure thrillseek­ers are safe is if a ded­i­cated area is es­tab­lished.

Al Zafeen said: “If we have a con­trolled area with an am­bu­lance and a clinic and fences, then we will put an end to this prob­lem. Oth­er­wise we will keep wit­ness­ing more ac­ci­dents.”

In Jan­uary, an Emi­rati woman, aged 20, burned to death when she was trapped inside a dune buggy.

The ve­hi­cle flipped over sev­eral times in the Al Warqa desert and four friends were thrown from the buggy. The girls, who were all in­jured, were un­able to

By Ali Al Shouk free their friend as the fire took hold.

In 2015, two Emi­ratis died and the year be­fore a 13-year-old was killed.

Launch­ing the Desert With­out Blood cam­paign, Al Zafeen said: “We have many deserts used for quad bik­ing and it’s hard for police to con­trol all of these.”

He said the dune zone would be dis­cussed with the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity and RTA. Al Zafeen also warned own­ers about us­ing quad bikes on roads. He said: “We con­fis­cated 67 quad bikes last year. There are no safety mea­sures equipped for road driv­ing.”

Colonel Jamal Al Ban­nai, Deputy Di­rec­tor of the Traf­fic Depart­ment, said too many par­ents give their kids the free­dom to drive bikes on their own.

He said: “I even saw one fa­ther driv­ing one with two of his chil­dren on the front and an­other two in the back.

“Par­ents en­cour­age their chil­dren to use the bikes at too young an age.”

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