Safety message is driven home by UAE champion
A cartoon message featuring UAE rally driver Mohammed Ben Sulayem is being shown on TV to encourage drivers to slow down during Ramadan.
Ben Sulayem will appear as a character in a special road-safety episode of the popular ‘Shaabiat Al Cartoon’ programme.
It will be broadcast by Sama Dubai throughout Ramadan and targets young Emiratis to increase awareness of the hazards of speeding.
“Shaabiat Al Cartoon is a very effective way to send important messages to the youth in the UAE and reduce the number of fatalities on our roads,” said Ben Sulayem, who has also been at the forefront of efforts to promote safe driving habits.
He said that if youths want to race, the UAE has some of the best motor racing facilities in the world.
“There are plenty of opportunities to train for racing and to race competitively, especially at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi and Dubai Autodrome,” he said.
“You don’t win trophies for driving fast on public roads. You only risk your life and those of others. Too many young people perish this way.”
Ben Sulayem, who is the 14-times former FIA Middle East rally champion, added: “I only ever drove fast when I was competing.
“It doesn’t matter how good a driver you are, the only place for speed is in a properly controlled motorsport environment, well away from public traffic.”
Statistics issued by the Ministry of Interior earlier this year showed that the number of deaths on UAE roads fell from 826 in 2010 to 720 last year, a decrease of 12.8 per cent. The decrease in fatalities among Emiratis was 28.8 per cent.
Abu Dhabi Traffic Police reported last week that 131 people were killed in road accidents across the emirate during the first six months of 2012 and these included 42 Emiratis.
The programme is being broadcast daily during Ramadan at 7.40pm.