There used to be a Fall song that started with Mark E. Smith declaiming through some kind of megaphone: All those who entitle themselves, or whose main entitle is themselves, shall feel the wrath of my bombast! before the band lurched into a high-energy, thrash-chord-driven rant. I have to be more diplomatic.
There have been a few scare stories about how the fines for various (unenforced) traffic offences in Dubai were going to be doubled, or even converted to short jail sentences – but nothing has happened. It used to be true that you would only see a traffic cop out if there was an accident – and it’s still true. Perhaps the police sit in their offices believing that if they bark loudly enough, people will be scared they’re going to bite this time, even though they never have in the past. Or perhaps they’re short of manpower.
Either way, there is still the same approximate proportion of decent (if slightly fast) drivers to lousy and irresponsible ones – let’s say nine to one. And the nine still get from the one the same combination of racetrack maneouvres, dangerous swerving, high-speed lane indiscipline, serial queue-jumping (though that is also fed by those who let them get away with it), overtaking on the hard shoulder, aggressive tailgating and other selfish, discourteous and potentially lethal road behaviours. Nothing has changed.
A motorcycle cop was killed yesterday on Sheikh Zayed Road by a woman who swerved out of lane and forced his bike into a concrete barrier. Now they’ve lost one of their own, maybe they will finally do something?