One of the things I and many others parents love about living in Abu Dhabi is the fact that it is so safe. We can let our children wander to the shops without risk of menace or around the malls without worrying about them being abducted. But there is one aspect of life here that is terrifying.
Abu Dhabi is right down there with Eritrea when it comes to road safety. Being half Italian and having spent a lot of time in major cities like Rome, Paris, New York and London I am used to fast-moving heavy traffic. But nothing can prepare you for the driving here. It makes Hyde Park Corner look like a country lane full of Sunday drivers.
Tragedy struck on Monday when just down the road from our house three small sisters were killed while crossing the road with their three nannies. They were aged four, six and seven. The nannies survived, although one of them is now in intensive care. A speeding car hit the group and the three sisters died outright.
The car was a Lexus. I have long thought the Lexus drivers the worst on the roads. If I see one approaching me I just move out of the way. There is no point in doing anything else. A lot of them seem to believe that their cars are invincible and don’t go under 100 miles an hour.
I can’t stop thinking about those little girls and their family. Three young lives just gone, within seconds. It is too appalling to contemplate. My paper, The National, has launched a road safety campaign as a result of their deaths. I hope it makes some difference and they did not die in vain.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009