2:50pm

Tue October 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Police: BlackBerry Outage Led To Fewer Traffic Accidents In Abu Dhabi

As Mark has reported, BlackBerry users faced a text messaging outage for three days straight last week. Yesterday, BlackBerry offered some customers $100 in free apps as an apology.

And, today, The Financial Times reports another bit of surprising news born out of the outage: Authorities said the number of traffic accidents fell by 20 percent in Dubai and plummeted by 40 percent in Abu Dhabi during the outage.

The National, an English-language paper from the United Arab Emirates, first reported the story over the weekend. They report that authorities are certain the outage is linked to those drops:

Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the chief of Dubai Police, and Brig Gen Hussein Al Harethi, the director of the Abu Dhabi Police traffic department, linked the drop in accidents to the disruption of BlackBerry services between Tuesday and Thursday.

Brig Gen Al Harethi said: "Accidents were reduced by 40 per cent and the fact that BlackBerry services were down definitely contributed to that."

"Absolutely nothing has happened in the past week in terms of killings on the road and we're really glad about that," Brig Gen Al Harethi said. "People are slowly starting to realise the dangers of using their phone while driving. The roads became much safer when BlackBerry stopped working."

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