Dear Bus and Truck Drivers of Dubai

I’m sure I’ve written to you all about this before, dear drivers of heavy vehicles in the UAE. Maybe you have simply forgotten my request over time, or maybe you don’t read my blog when you’ve finished your long shifts.

I appreciate that you have a difficult job and I do appreciate the work you do.

That said, may I permit myself to make a small request?

Stop using your hazard lights, all the time, all day, every day.

For example, driver of the number 22 bendy bus. I am well aware that you are driving a bus and that you are driving along the road in front of me. I know this because a bus is a large vehicle that I can see with my eyes. You don’t need to switch on your hazard lights in order for me to notice you. When you pull out of the bus stop at high speed, right in front of me, I can see you with or without your hazard lights flashing.

The same goes for the gentleman driving the large sewage truck that randomly lurched in front of me on the Sheikh Zayed Road the other day. I could see you because you were driving a large sewage truck. If you were to switch off your hazard lights, your truck would still look like a large sewage truck with a nice picture of an eagle and some mountains painted on the back.

You may have noticed that there are two ways of controlling those little flashing lights. You can either have both sides flashing at the same time. Or you can have just the left side flashing or just the right side flashing.

When you have just one side flashing, it means you would like to move to that side – change a land maybe, or turn off the road. This is called ‘using your indicators’. The idea behind it is to let other drivers know what you want to do. The idea behind that is to make it easier for everyone on the road to see what other people are doing and to drive accordingly. That way, accidents are less likely to occur.

When you drive along with your hazard lights flashing, noone is able to know if you are about to switch lanes or turn off the road. This makes it somewhat surprising when you pull out of the bus stop right in front of me. Or career across the road to ensconce yourself in the middle lane, two feet in front of me.

So, please stop leaving your hazard lights on all the time and start using your indicators.

Many thanks. Next week we’re going to discuss how to use the shiny things attached to the side of your bus and lorry, commonly know as wing mirrors. The week after that we’ll talk about how you’re not really supposed to be driving in the middle lane at 80Kms per hour.

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