To be called a good driver one has to be not only a person who knows how to drive carefully but also a person who knows where to go and which areas to avoid and also to maintain one’s vehicle in perfect order.

The Gulf Traffic Week was launched this Sunday so do not fail the Traffic police with your cavalier attitude to driving within the limits of the law. Remember never to do the following:

l Do not take short-cuts. Which means never enter a one-way street from the wrong end. Some people do take a chance if they find the lane empty but what if, once you are halfway through, another vehicle comed in and legitimately demands the right of way? You may not only have to reverse but in your confusion, frustration and under pressure from the driver facing you, you might hit your vehicle against a wall or a fixture.

l Similarly, never try to exit from a street
meant only for the entry of vehicles. One example
is drivers routinely joining the main road after emerging from the petrol pump facing the Pakistan Club. Actually, they fall foul of the law every time they do that. They must come out via the red signal. Yes, it’s a circuitous route.

l Do not try to get ahead in the queue of the left-turning vehicles by way of the lane meant for straight-going traffic. The red light near Gulf Hotel in Adliya, close to the market, is one example where vehicles not only turn left out of turn but even have the temerity to take U-turns!! If you hit a vehicle which has the right of way you will have little legal protection.

l Do not switch lanes by riding on to the road dividers. This is common practice among massive 4WDs whose drivers seem to believe they own all the land that they survey – roads, red lights, road dividers – the works.

l Never park your vehicle on the footpath. Footpaths are strictly for pedestrians, people out for a stroll, the leisurely tourist, the evening walkers. Certainly not for vehicles.

l Do not race to catch the green light and never ever jump it if it turns red before you have caught up with it. Quite a few drivers have played this game and ended up heavy losers of life, limb, vehicle or all three.

l Do not race against a fellow driver on the road ever. After a point it becomes acrimonious with both of you trying to outdo and outrace each other. A point comes in such situations when you lose sight of the ground realities, the pedestrians trying to cross, the red lights, and the consequences can be disastrous.