Slow down, there is no need to hurry

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By Jamila Boulakhrif, Gulf News Reader  www.gulfnews.com

How many times have you stood before a pedestrian crossing and waited for cars to pass by? Most of us do it in the UAE. But according to international driving rules, it is the responsibility of the driver to stop or slow down to the minimum speed, when approaching a zebra crossing.

    *  According to Gulf News reader Jamila Boulakhrif, motorists have become used to getting their way on the roads — a downside for pedestrians. She says: 'Most drivers simply drive over pedestrian crossings without any consideration.'     * Image Credit: Jamila Boulakhrif, Gulf News reader
* According to Gulf News reader Jamila Boulakhrif, motorists have become used to getting their way on the roads — a downside for pedestrians. She says: 'Most drivers simply drive over pedestrian crossings without any consideration.' * Image Credit: Jamila Boulakhrif, Gulf News reader

This allows pedestrians to cross roads safely, rather than run across while dodging vehicles and endangering themselves.

I always make it a point to stop for pedestrians. Most of the time, I need to wave to the pedestrians or signal to them that I am willing to let them cross and do not mind waiting.

For most pedestrians, this comes as a surprise and we motorists even get a “thank you” wave back. Either that or they keep staring fearfully at us while crossing, as they think we are capable of driving on at any moment.

Most drivers simply drive over pedestrian crossings without any consideration.

Ultimately, it boils down to a simple question of respect. It is also a selfish act to claim the road for yourself just because you are sitting in a vehicle.

This bad habit has become so ingrained in motorists, even people with good driving skills have adopted the practice. All of a sudden, something that is wrong has become acceptable for most people.

You would not want your children to cross a road and be driven over. Neither would you want it to happen to you when you use public transport.

More controls

The concerned authorities should enforce more controls at zebra crossings. As public transport in Dubai grows and Dubai Metro construction moves towards its finishing stages, it is time to give this matter priority.

How would people be encouraged to use the Metro or the bus instead of a car, when getting to the respective stations has become so dangerous?

Despite all the bad experiences, I still do stop at zebra crossings for pedestrians. If motorists behind me are speeding, they are welcome to bump into my car. I would rather have a dent in my car, than a pedestrian on my windshield.

– The reader works as cabin crew, in Dubai.