‘I’ve had sev­eral near misses cross­ing roads’

7 Days in Dubai - - DEAR 7DAYS -

In re­sponse to the let­ter ‘Mo­torists have zero re­spect for pedes­tri­ans’ (June 29), I am a 183cm tall, 93kg mid­dle-aged ex­pat man who clearly ap­proaches ev­ery­thing with pur­pose and di­rec­tion and ev­ery­day I cross the street at six sets of traf­fic lights and five signed pedes­trian cross­ings each way on my jour­ney to and from work. The worst of­fend­ers in the morn­ing are the school bus driv­ers, they NEVER slow down, stop or give way, clearly too busy get­ting our kids to school to obey any road rules. The af­ter­noon how­ever, is a dif­fer­ent story, it’s about 65 per cent the sedan type cars with the blacked out windows that are worst, and most of the time they are on their phones or smil­ing in a kind of “I don’t care about you Mr” kind of way or they sim­ply speed up to make sure they have “the power of the car” over you. The other 25 per cent are taxi driv­ers and the re­main­ing are prob­a­bly gen­uine “ooh I’m not pay­ing at­ten­tion” res­i­dents who due to their busy lives have to try and jug­gle the drink, the phone and the map on their trav­els. I thought at one time of car­ry­ing a sim­ple notepad to be­gin a name and shame reg­is­ter but the sim­ple facts are that the road rules here are dis­cre­tionary and only come into play when the green and white ve­hi­cles are around and in plain view, pretty much the same as ev­ery­where else in the world don’t you think. The sad fact is that pedes­tri­ans have no rights and the lo­cal Emi­ratis of­ten get blamed for ev­ery­thing. In my ex­pe­ri­ence af­ter walk­ing this way ev­ery day for the last 10 years or so the lo­cal Emi­ratis are the only ones who are po­lite, know the rules and stop to give way, just like the sign says. Pity ev­ery­one else couldn’t fol­low their lead. I sus­pect that one day my body will be a few cen­time­tres ahead of my mind and I’ll get hit, I’ve al­ready had a num­ber of very near misses and col­lected some ‘mir­ror’ bruises and door han­dle swipes. The clos­est though was a school bus... got to keep and eye out for those mir­rors stick­ing out. Ger­ald Dubai

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