This past week Abu Dhabi and Dubai saw failure of a critical Blackberry network link; according to Dubai police, during the four days of the failure, traffic accidents dropped 20%. Abu Dhabi saw a 40% decrease. Both cities are known for their volatile traffic: one incident every three minutes in Dubai; Abu Dhabi sees a fatality every two days.
The service interruption affected Africa, Europe and the Middle East. One resident said that the information surprised her and made her think about how mobile devices affected driving and that she would be keeping her mobile in her purse from now on.
The glitch comes on the heels of a recent mobile-usage enforcement operation whereupon Dubai police have handed out over 36,500 fines for mobile use while driving with fines ranging from $50 to over $270 plus 4 to 12 points on licenses. The copious fines are part of a sting operation starting two weeks ago, coinciding with UAE footballer Theyab Amana’s fatal collision with the rear of a road painting truck, naturally while on his Blackberry.
It does not stop there however, during court proceedings following an accident, if the police finds that those at fault were using their mobile device at the time, the prosecutor is permitted to charge them the cost for retrieving said evidence.
– By: Sawyer Sutton
Source: The National