‘Buckle up- it saved me in this crash’
UAE firm releases road safety message after accidents involving staff
A motorist has described the moment she believes her life was saved because she was wearing a seatbelt.
Lucy Hannon said she would have been thrown through the windscreen of her Mitsubishi Pajero when it collided with another vehicle in Abu Dhabi had she not been buckled up.
The British HR worker was knocked unconscious in the accident on Mohamed bin Zayed Street in December.
Hannon (pictured) spoke about the ordeal, which left her on crutches for weeks, as part of a road safety campaign by her employers, outsourcing firm Serco Middle East.
Hannon said: “I hit my head on the side of the vehicle. I remember waking up and the car was on its side. If I didn’t have my seatbelt on, I would’ve been thrown through the window. “I experienced how seatbelts save lives and learned to always be cautious.” Serco launched its campaign as figures from Abu Dhabi Police show six people were killed and four others were seriously injured in accidents in the first week of Ramadan. Serco said it created the road safety video for its staff after two serious accidents, but also to get the message to all road users.
A UAE firm is urging other companies to make sure their employees wear seatbelts.
Serco Middle East, a service provider for the private and public sector, launched its campaign after two members of staff were involved in serious road accidents last year.
Laura Kelly, Assurance Director of Serco Middle East, said the firm hopes the crashes will make people realise how vital it is to buckle up.
She said: “We’ve developed a road safety policy where the drivers and passengers in the vehicle must have their seatbelts on.
“No one wants to tell their customers that we couldn’t deliver what we needed to because we have gotten into an accident and the passengers weren’t wearing their seatbelts. Our key message is that seatbelts save lives.
“We’ve used pledges to deliver that message in our company, where employees have said they will wear their seatbelt.”
One Serco employee, who is based in Saudi Arabia, fractured her left shoulder in a road crash in which she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.
Cathie Ledesma (pictured), a housekeeper at Serco Saudi Services, had to take 61 days off work. Speaking in a campaign video she said: “We left our accommodation about 10.15am and we encountered a very rude and aggressive driver. Everything happened quickly. Our minibus got into an accident, rolled over and hit a tree. I was thrown around inside. “I received a bone fracture on my left shoulder because I didn’t wear my seatbelt. We were all taken to hospital.” She added: “My life has been turned upside down because getting in an accident is no fun. The first thing that comes to my mind is to push the safety rule of wearing your seat belt all the time.”
Serco is the latest firm in the UAE to launch a road safety campaign for employees. Freedom Pizza introduced customised motorbike helmets for delivery bikers, which include pictures of their family members to send a “humanised message” to other drivers on the road that they also have a family and to drive safe around them.
Last year, 675 people died in road accidents in the UAE. David Greer, CEO of Serco Middle East, said: “Arguably the most dangerous thing we do in the Middle East is drive on the roads. Sadly the stats speak for themselves. And that’s why we launched the road safety policy.”
SMASH_UP: The accident involving Cathie Ledesma (pictured below)