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09 January, 2006


An interesting question: was this Jordanian motorist just stupid or really, imbecilicly cretinous? The 33-year-old Emir of Amman was driving like an idiot and flashing his lights (something which should be a capital offence, except for drivers genuinely stuck behind 40kmph Sunnymen); he then undertook from the inside and gave a less-than-royal wave to the driver he had been harrassing.

Who was a policeman:

"The policeman was driving in the fast lane and the motorist, travelling at the maximum speed, wanted to go faster. The policeman, however, refused to give him way.

"The outraged driver, swerved to the right lane, overtook the policeman, wound down his window and made an indecent gesture at him. The policeman went to a police station and reported the incident, giving a description of the car along with its number plate."

Plain clothes or just plain cretinry?



Blogger samuraisam said...

i love it when this sort of thing happens.

09 January, 2006 05:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah .. me too ...

sweet revenge.

09 January, 2006 08:40  
Blogger haji-o-matic said...

spoiled brat?

09 January, 2006 08:49  
Blogger moryarti said...

What a moron! too bad they suspended his jail term.

09 January, 2006 09:15  
Blogger (((dXb))) said...

Why does a policeman need to go to the police station to file a complaint? Can he not arrest the guy himself? Maybe he is off-duty... but even so, can he not do the arrest if he is a first hand witness of a crime/offence, in this case insulting an officer and dangerous driving... or maybe it would be too risky chasing the mad driver.

On a slightly related news, I read in Emirates Today that the police denies fine increases (e.g. speeding from 200 to 500), which was said to be posted in AME Info website, and which I also received a couple of times via email. Apparently, it is still a proposal.

However, Brigadier Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Director of the Dubai Police General Department of Traffic, said he was not aware of any such increase. “We have submitted a proposal to increase the penalties for these violations but we are still waiting to hear whether the proposal will be approved.”

The above's confusing though. How can he not be aware if they submitted a proposal?

09 January, 2006 09:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is another way to look at this story..isnt it a rule that no matter WHAT the speed of the driver coming behind you in the fast lane, one has to give way to him/her if it is possible at that point of time? In this case, the cop could have given way, THEN noted the details and passed it on..instead, he stuck to the fast lane saying he was driving at the maximum speed and then complained when the finger came out..

What if the guy behind was in a genuine, urgent emergency?? I'm not saying this was the case here, but what IF?

09 January, 2006 09:50  
Blogger archer14 said...

Emergency or not, it's good to have plainclothes policemen taking action...We need more of them to put a permanent end to these Schumachers who make driving and crossing roads a pain in the ass.
Btw, he should have been jailed for a week.
As for anons question^^, people in emergencies can be easily identified, they'd move on to the next lane swiftly, rather than go for the flashing-speeding-almost-touch-bumper routine.

09 January, 2006 10:02  
Blogger scarlettepimp said...

yesterday i had my run in with a "tashreefat". don't really care who was inside the car. he was flashing me in the MIDDLE lane(what a jerk) and you know what happens when someone tails my ass. so, i decided to blow him away and leave him far and dusty in my rear view mirror. not telling you what i drive but he couldn't keep up. had a nice smile on my face and a shit load of speeding tickets. sometimes that adrelanine is worth a thousand heart beats.

09 January, 2006 10:17  
Blogger MaShoKaSh said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

09 January, 2006 10:35  
Blogger MaShoKaSh said...

The rule is clear:
If you're driving below max speed on the fastest lane, you HAVE to give way if a faster car is comeing behind you.
but if you're driving at maximum speed or higher, give the gangster some hard time. Personally, when it happens to me, I flip my rear mirror and reduce my speed by 10 KM/h.

09 January, 2006 10:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The driving attitudes in the UAE are the worst i have seen in the world! No it is not a rule that one must give way to anyone coming at any speed behind you. No it is not the speeding driver behind's right to be allowed to pass. Firstly it is rude to FLASH and come so close. That is the first thing the police need to make illegal. No one in the US dares to flash their lights or come so close to intimidate the other guy to move. That can be deemed as a threatening behaviour with intent to risk life.

I think this man was punished because the plaintiff was a cop and a local. Had he been an expat and the defendant a local i dont think we would have had justice.

09 January, 2006 11:43  
Blogger secretdubai said...

What if the guy behind was in a genuine, urgent emergency??

Firstly it is still illegal to speed, emergency or not, unless you are a designated emergency vehicle, such as a police car or an ambulanced, clearly marked, with your blue lights and sirens on. If you genuinely were rushing your pregnant-in-labour wife to hospital, then in countries that take people to court for speeding/dangerous driving, you could probably bring it up as a mitigating factor. But there's still no guarantee you'd escape conviction.

And the royal wave - is that a necessary part of emergency driving?! If you're really concentrating on getting to a hospital, do you take time out to do that? No. This guy was a moron, he should have lost his licence.

No it is not a rule that one must give way to anyone coming at any speed behind you.

But it is - or should be - a rule that everyone pulls over if the right hand lanes are clear. It's not "fast lanes" and "slow lanes" it's "overtaking lanes". With so many lanes on major roads like SZR, it probably is acceptable to "lane hog" the second-left lane, leaving the far left clear for people entering and exiting the highway. But even at 120kmph (or higher) you shouldn't be driving on the far left lane if the other ones are clear.

09 January, 2006 14:30  
Blogger Roba said...

First off, where does the article say anything about an amir?

Second off, giving fingers to indecent drivers is quite common in this country. Even a little nice girl such as myself becomes extremely irritable and pissy when behind the wheel. The streets tend to be small, crowded, and people are aggressive.

09 January, 2006 16:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

troll alert

09 January, 2006 16:25  
Blogger petronias said...

Request from Canadian Film-Maker:

I am doing research for a feature film screenplay about Dubai's underworld. If anyone is interested in providing me with good anectdotes and stories, please let me know. I am particularly interested in the "virtual police squad" which i heard about when i was visiting there a few years ago.

Please let me know.



09 January, 2006 17:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emir of Amman? Very offensive and insulting and out-of-context use of words!!

I lived in Dubai for five year (between 1996 to 2001), and I used to go every day to my office at Jabal Ali. Daily, the emergency lane (extreme left, after the main lane) used to turn to a racing lane for the Army staff!! So, what is new about speed and indecent gestures? Or because it happens that this guy is not an UAE citizen, so they are the bad guys?

09 January, 2006 17:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

second troll alert

09 January, 2006 18:02  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Emir of Amman? Very offensive and insulting and out-of-context use of words!!

And that's offensive and insulting how? There is no Emir of Amman. Jordan has a King, last I heard. It was a piss-take at the Jordanian moron for driving like he owned the roads.

09 January, 2006 18:11  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Petronias - if you email a request to uaecommunity AT gmail, I can post something there so people can answer your query. You haven't left any way for people to contact you.

09 January, 2006 18:14  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Hmmm. When in Jordan I did not experience driving like that. The flashing of lights and riding the bumper is a UAE infection that the Jordanian driver caught. And, yes, he was susceptible not because he was Jordanian, and not because he was a moron - all he may well be - but because he is a a jerk. But leave that same jerk in Jordan and he would not drive in this fashion.

In most countries if a car comes up behind you quick and is flashing their headlights it means they have an emergency. Here it signals absolutely nothing except discourteous driving.

09 January, 2006 18:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tsk tsk...countries should NEVER be brought into such discussions. In this case, of course, UAE as such should be considered, thats IT..national, expat or need not pull in the nationality of the driver involved, as doing that would be neither do justice to that particular nation/nationality as its not that ALL Jordanians in UAE drive like this (in this case) nor would it indicate that other nationalities are always innocent! This might be not what is indicated or intended, but its easy to misunderstand..better not involved nationalities at all!

09 January, 2006 20:00  
Blogger BrainSyke said...

Plain idiocy: Very common in the arab world. [no offense to the sensible ones]

09 January, 2006 21:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rating of drivers according to nationality starting with the worst:

1) Lebanese/ Jordan/ Palestinian/ Iraqi etc...
2) Saudi/ Kuwait/ Oman/
3) UAE. Within these in this order:
Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Ajman, UAQ, Dubai.
4)Indo Paks and other subcontinents
5)British, Aussie, S. Africans and other countries where you have efficient driver ed. and culture. This means that if you honk or flash your lights you will be made to feel ashamed about your action.

Now I know the reactions i will get are "but i know a local who drives so well"; "but i know a british lady who drives bad", etc. No. Before you begin I AM generalizing here and not talking about exceptions.
Regarding those vehicles driven for a profession, such as a bus, taxi, truck etc: How come we dont get many of "how do you like my driving, call this number" signs on the back of those cars? Especially the dubai municipality drivers.

09 January, 2006 21:36  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Explain to me why when you cross the border from the UAE to Oman the character of the driving suddenly changes.

09 January, 2006 22:03  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

The role of driver education is way overrated. The role of shame is way underrated. If your family and your friends don't shame you about your poor driving we need one traffic cop for every driver to maintain order on the highways.

09 January, 2006 22:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First as the article insinuates with its last paragraph, would anything have happened if a civilian had reported the incident.

Secondly, and this is not really related, but fun, a year or so ago I got a call from the police (I won't state which emirate, you are already bias), realising I was male they said "Does your wife drive a blah blah" "Yes" I replied "She must move her car now", "Why" I enquired,
"Because it's badly parked and blocking traffic." they responded. Me "But.." Them "Now" Me "But, it's in the drive", Them "Oh, Sorry, wrong number plate". Scarry or what.

09 January, 2006 22:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey SD,

Nice one with the 'Emir of Amman' bit. The twit really was acting like a royal. In any case, one thing is true. This style of driving seems to be the norm in the UAE. Still, given how this issue has veered from sensible driving to an issue of nationality, I do wonder what that cop would have done had it been some emirati in a 4x4 with darkened windows and a special number plate?...Probably he'd have smiled weakly and apologised profusely.

09 January, 2006 23:28  
Blogger samuraisam said...

actually i've heard many cases which i know to be true of people that have denounced dubai police, swore at police officers etc etc, regardless of nationality, a lot of them get in a lot of trouble.

09 January, 2006 23:58  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Many of our comments are glossing over the distinction between

probability the driver is bad given they are of X nationality,


probability the driver is of X nationality given they are a bad driver.

If X are a big percentage of the population, they will typically be a big percentage of the bad drivers unless X-ers are especially virtuous. But even if they are a big percentage of the bad drivers they can still very well be amongst the best of the nationalities as a whole in terms of safe and considerate driving.

10 January, 2006 00:49  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

I don't really understand poeple who try to get back at offensive drivers by blocking them/slowing down/gesturing etc. Getting into immature battles of pride on public roads only makes things more unsafe and is just plain stupid.

Grow up and let the impatient pigs pass by so they can go die somewhere else. Let the cops do the cop work.

10 January, 2006 01:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it seems no one is getting your humor in this.

10 January, 2006 09:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

scarlettpimp said at 1017 Jan 9:

...and you know what happens when someone tails my ass. so, i decided to blow him away...

oh my! lets keep our bedroom secrets to ourselves and away from the prying eyes of dubai dwellers, eh scarlett?

10 January, 2006 14:28  
Blogger haji-o-matic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10 January, 2006 14:38  
Blogger haji-o-matic said...

Maybe Dubai neeeds an autobahn? thats how they seem to drive.

10 January, 2006 14:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recall from college that if any law is now voluntarily adhered to by at a minimum ninety percent of the population, it is impoosible to enforce. OR it becomes prohibitively expensive to try and impose it on the population.

That is where a spouse being concerned enough about her own and her children's safety to tell her husband (if he is) to "Stop driving like a maniac! You'll get us all killed!" comes into it. Yes, the pressure of familial and societal shame to those who endanger others is the true missing link here.


10 January, 2006 15:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with john Chilton here on how driver ed is waaaaay overrated here. Look, let's face it, most people in the UAE can drive. Driving is the ability to operate an automobile. It's not very difficult.

The problem here is the culture of driving. And, it's not really driving only. There is a general COMPLETE lack of respect for others, from the queues at the grocery store to the gridlocks on the streets.

You have two horrible cultures when it comes to these things, the Arab and Indian/Pakistani/etc. coming togehter to form the most foul of those habits.

Yes, I've said it -- and you all know it. Arabs have this splendid idea of, "screw them". Example, "Hey, smoking is not allowed here..", "screw them.. let them come and stop me".. or, "Don't cut in line in front of me, I was here first..".., "What the @!)#!# is your problem, go to hell'.

Then you have the Indian/Pakistani attitude of, "But, it's because.."... example, "Wait in line like everyone else".., "But I only have 2 items!".. hey dumbwit, I have ONE, and I am still waiting in line like everyone else. Get back in there! Or, "Oh.. smoking isnot allowed? Oh.. designated areas are soooo far away.." or whatever.

In a nutshell, there is no solution to the driving problems in the UAE, because it's not a UAE issue. You have too many expats and a very high turnover that it is virtually impossible to 'educate' people about these things.

13 January, 2006 01:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree with everything mohamed says. to go further. i would say that the arab mentality is that he doesn't really care a great deal about those around him. those whose life he is endangering, those who are queing in traffic, while he cuts in. the indian in dubai treats the car like a social leveler. the most passive indian who spends his life being spat on, gets behind the wheel of his nissan and exacts revenge by tailgating, flashing and blasting his horn for no reason. Distasterous mix!

15 January, 2006 16:26  

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