News 13 March 2018

Aletihad newspaper, part of Abu Dhabi Media, has launched an awareness initiative under the slogan “Your Decision Determines Your Path” in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Police GHQ. The community initiative aims to highlight the dangers of using handheld mobile phones while driving, as well as how to use mobile phones on the go, in order to enhance cooperation with traffic patrols to reduce this trend. 

 Aletihad stressed that the campaign will address the public through creatively designed messages set to be published across its printed pages and social media platforms. The messages will urge readers to avoid taking photos and talking on the phone while driving.  The newspaper will also present a song inspired by the initiative’s objectives, with the participation and support of renowned artists including Hussein Al Jassmi, who will sing lyrics scripted by Hassan Al Obaidly to a composition drafted by Fayez Al Saeed. The newspaper honored the three artists by awarding them the Aletihad’s Ambassador Medal in recognition of their efforts to support community awareness campaigns.

 H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Media, said: "This initiative falls in line with the significant role held by Abu Dhabi Media and its brands, including Aletihad newspaper, in promoting social responsibility. It also furthers our vision to adopt and launch initiatives that address the needs of our community while advancing and maintaining the happiness of individuals.”

 Mohammed Al Hammadi, Editor-in-Chief of Aletihad newspaper, said: "Our community has become preoccupied with smartphones, which have become a distraction for us especially while driving."

 Al Hammadi noted that the newspaper’s initiative is based on a group of studies and reports issued by various government agencies specialized in community research. These studies unanimously agreed on the dangers of using smartphones while driving, as doing so leads to high accidents rates with many fatalities.

Al Hammadi added:  "The initiative, launched in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Police, will raise awareness on the potential risks of using a phone while driving and how to maintain road safety in an innovative manner through Aletihad’s printed and digital platforms. The initiative also aims to encourage drivers to adhere to provided regulations responsibly."

H.E. Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police, stressed the importance of coordinating and cooperating with the media in light of their role in spreading policing, traffic and security awareness in line with the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership.

 H.E. praised the awareness initiative launched by Aletihad newspaper under the slogan “Your Decision Determines Your Path,” which aims to spread knowledge and awareness on how to use mobile phones on the go, thus enhancing cooperation with traffic patrols to reduce this trend. H.E. pointed out that this is an educational initiative with many positive effects on promoting community awareness on one of the most important police issues in traffic safety.

 Major General Al Rumaithi also highlighted the commitment of the Abu Dhabi Police to support social responsibility by activating partnerships between the public sector, government entities and educational institutions in increasing awareness by means of available communication methods including websites, social media and others to sensitize the community to the need of abiding to the traffic laws.

 Al Rumaithi then stated: “Despite the repeated warnings on the dangers of using mobile phones while driving, some drivers continue to lose focus and neglect basic driving rules such as properly handling the steering wheel with both hands and focusing their attention on the caller”

 H.E. then added: “The awareness activities and programs carried out by the central operations sector are continuing in accordance with organized plans to alert drivers to the danger of focusing on their phone instead of the road. "

 H.E. expressed his hope that social media activists will participate in the success of Aletihad’s initiative, which aims to augment awareness and urge drivers to abide by the laws and regulations that have been put in place for the safety of the community.

 The Major General also said that there have been intensive efforts to limit the usage of phones while driving and demand that drivers rethink before using their phones because their lives are much too valuable to be lost in exchange for a phone call or a text message; and that the distraction is not worth the accident nor the possibility of death and/or severe injuries.

 Al Rumaithi concluded: “Drivers must make the right decision to protect themselves, their families and other drivers by choosing not to use their phones. Driving requires one’s full attention and proper monitoring of the road using one’s senses. Therefore, using a phone for calls or texts when driving will distract you and result in your delayed response to any situation in the road that may include sudden lane changes, the slowing down of the traffic ahead or the crossing of a red light all which lead to accidents. I sincerely wish good health and safety for all.”

 H.E. Major General Maktoum Ali Al Sharifi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Police, praised Aletihad’s “Your Decision Determines Your Path” initiative as a positive step in promoting traffic safety and supporting police efforts to instill this culture in individuals, in addition to assuring their commitment to proper instructions and guidance in driving safely in order to maintain the well-being of the community.

 H.E. Al Sharifi said: “The initiative is an indicator of the hard work conducted between different community institutions and sectors in the hope of reducing traffic accidents and enhancing safety throughout the community. Abu Dhabi Police GHQ stands behind media initiatives that supports positive behaviors and in turn highlights these projects to help raise awareness to avoid accidents,”

 Major General Al Sharifi then added: “Initiatives that focus on traffic safety, social responsibility and safety education is of great importance to Abu Dhabi Police and hence embedded into its programs. Through its continuous efforts, Abu Dhabi Police is already to cooperate with organizations to achieve better results in traffic safety awareness for the community.”

  This initiative follows the unprecedented success of Aletihad’s previous initiatives over the past years, including “Positive Photos and Positive Comments,” which succeeded in enhancing community responsibility regarding the use of social media when either taking pictures or commenting on various topics.

 Abu Dhabi Media’s various platforms, together with Aletihad, are working to consolidate the concept of public safety on the roads and to shed light on the dangers of using smartphones while driving through the dissemination of targeted and innovative content.

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