U-turns closed

U-turns closed

We had started this blog back in 2010 with the aim of closing the u-turns. After months of lobbying and campaigning to close the u-turns. They were finally closed on June 2012. Thanks to the RAK & Abu Dhabi authorities to close the u-turns and make the roads safe for everybody. This post is short but the path to victory was long and arduous. Beginning seemed impossible but goal was sweet. This will give hope to you readers that hope, will and action can move mountains. Thanks for reading and supporting us in this campaign. Head over to http://www.surayafoundation.com for more.


Thanks for voting!

Thank you for the support! The petition has officially received 200 plus signatures to gain credibility and forward to the Traffic Department of RAK.  I contacted a journalist who has been helpful throughout the campaign Anna Zacharias who suggested to meet the authorities in person which would be more effective to send the message home and convince them of the gravity of the problem.

According to national newspaper, in 2008, E11 of RAK had the second highest number of accidents resulting in death or injury and the third highest number of deaths after the Emirates and Ittihad highways, accounting for seven of the emirate’s 97 deaths that year. There are six u-turns in a four km stretch which had history of reckless drivers wrecking the roads. The authorities keep blaming the drivers and do less to prevent the accidents there by closing the u-turn.

Thanks to all the people from twitter, forums, friends and colleagues to sign the petition, I will try to reach Sheikh Saud of RAK to convince him about the gravity of the situation and finally get our efforts to fruition by closing the u-turns to prevent accidents.

My next step is to make foundation which spreads safety awareness through media by making pictures and radio ads which will hit the emotional core and change the attitude of drivers. The foundation will be named as Suraya Foundation. If you do know anybody in radio stations, great graphic artists ready to do pro bono work please contact me at founder (at) surayafoundation.com. Read this blog for more updates. 

Update (28 April 2010): Formed the preliminary website  of Suraya Foundation (note it may experience usual downtime as it may be updating).

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Nick Burton of I4research who was kind enough to collect traffic data for free back on July, I finally got to meet up with him again. He provided with 160 Gb of data which has 3 days of video footage of cars driving on 3 day period. The analysis was very interesting, there were lots of cars driving 175 km/hr on that 100 km/hr road which was appalling and 85% of the cars there drove more than 100 km/hr increasing the risk of accidents. He mentioned the data was one of the missing jigsaw puzzle and further data like lighting, curvature etc of the road has to be taken into account before a credible answer could be stated. He mentioned how three years ago he worked with Public Works and stated the need to have seperate overpass for trucks so the damage to the roads (Rams Rd) could be minimized. As usual the reply was “we are working on it”.

I am heading to Traffic Police and hand over the data so it can be used for traffic analysis and hopefully they could come up with tangible and credible solution to close the -turns.

Remember I have done campaign to close the u-turn on E11 and have petitioned online and got free traffic data collection done (not forgetting it took week to get permission with my money) and raised awareness of the issue via newspapers and getting the promise of Head of Traffic that it would be closed.

I get a call from news reporter, Anna Zacharias that a Ukrainian lady, Dasha Puskhar lost her life on one of the u-turns on E11 . Sadly that was what I campaigned against almost a year back and it has been left open. Sadly as previously stated authorities mentioned they were working on it.

Today I headed to Dhiwan to meet the brother of Ruler of RAK.  I tried getting appointment but secretary asked me to drop by. I went there around 9 a.m and waited in the office then was led to meet a person who looked like Colonel and I told him about the plan to meet the Shiekh and discuss about the u-turn safety. He mentioned His Highness does not take care of this “trivial matter” and Dhiwan was place to discuss something like land dispute etc. He then proceeded to mention about about the hassles of closing the u-turn one has to drive 1 km more to make u-turn then he stressed about safety. He was kind enough to provide me the number of PR of RAK Traffic. I then drive to RAK Traffic and meet with the Public Relations guy. He was very friendly and said he would look into the matter. That time the Head of Traffic was on vacation. He was only first official to thank me for my work.

After the attorney assured us that our two years of fighting the case was going to bear fruits, we were content that at last we got justice. But the judge who was supposed to give the final say overruled and handed down the same sentence he handed 2 years ago. What an injustice to us despite the fact that the evidence shows my sister is innocent, they are depending on the words of one of the two witnesses, the french man who was the culprit and left the country more than a year ago and the so called friend of my sister Ayesha is still mute. It is extremely heart breaking to find ourselves in this situation and fight for the basic justice. It  seems the system, her friends and rest turned against her in the time of the need. We still would not give up so soon and will fight till justice is served.

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