Thursday, 29 April 2010

Deadly actions with minimal consequences

Very much in keeping with the subtitle of this blog: In February, two young men, both 19 year old Emiratis, were racing their hotted-up 4x4s in Al Khawaneej which is a residential suburb here in Dubai. According to Traffic Prosecution, the two students had "made modifications to their cars for acceleration and enhancing engine performance." They were doing 130kph in a 60 kph zone when one of them hit a car, killing the other driver. High speed racing in a suburban street.
Do these young men have to take responsibility for killing someone due to their reckless disregard and negligence? As if!  It seems they're old enough to have the fast cars and drive them recklessly but apparently not old enough to take the consequences of their actions. So, what’s the punishment?

  1. 3 months in jail.  This is the same sentence given to the ‘sex on the beach’ couple.  Strange, I would have thought that killing someone was a more serious crime but there you go...;
  2. A 500 dirham fine each. 500 dirhams converts to the grand sum of $147;
  3. Between them they have to pay 200,000 dirhams in blood money to the family of the dead driver. 200,000 dirhams converts to $59,111;
  4. They are both banned from driving for 1 year (yeah right).
The drivers are not kids, these are 19 year olds who, one assumes possibly incorrectly, are old enough to know right from wrong, who know that suburban streets have other cars on them and who have the resources to 'soup up' their cars and know the horsepower that will result. One of the drivers also had his licence endorsed as requiring glasses to drive but he chose not to wear them.
Meanwhile the RTA continues to tell Dubai motorists that they are targeting dangerous driving, but what’s the real message that some drivers are getting? The message is that they can do what they like because they’ll get away with it.


  1. Of course, they'll only get away with it, if they have the right passport.