Drivers say ‘buckle up’ campaign is working
Passengers are gradually getting the message when it comes to buckling up, drivers of private hire taxis have said - a move that could save their lives.
7DAYS spoke to a number of Careem drivers after the firm launched its own campaign urging people to put on their seatbelts.
Since then, Careem said more than 5,000 people have taken the ‘Buckle Up Pledge’.
The firm’s drivers were told they could refuse to take passengers unless they complied, and said they have seen an improvement since then.
Careem driver, Asif Sabir, 36, from Pakistan, said: “Before, I always had to tell people to put on their belts before we started the journey, but lately the majority of the passengers buckle up themselves.
“A lot of passengers actually come onboard and tell me they have taken the ‘Buckle Up’ pledge and want to know if others have spoken about it too and if a lot of people have signed up.”
Another driver, Zahoor Ahmed, 48, said he refused to take a number of passengers this month.
He said: “When I told them that ‘I can’t take you if you don’t wear it’, they did not hesitate to put the belt on. By Mahak Mannan
“No one refused to buckle up, nor did they argue. In fact they were respectful of the request. “Ever since the launch, every passenger I have had in my taxi wears a belt.”
At present, there is no law requiring passengers in the back to wear a seatbelt, but campaigners have for years urged people to do it anyway, pointing to the far higher chances of surviving a crash.
Thomas Edelmann, Founder of RoadSafetyUAE, said “The more organisations and companies focus on road safety awareness, and specifically seatbelt usage, the better.”
BELT UP: Campaigners say taxi drivers insisting on passengers wearing seatbelts can help to change attitudes