No BlackBerrys = Less Traffic Accidents in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

When RIM's Blackberry servers were melting down across the globe last week, the business-centric cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai experienced a sharp drop-off in reported traffic accidents, leading authorities to proclaim that roads were much safer when BlackBerry stopped working.

According to the UAE-based newspaper The National, the dropoff in accidents was 40 percent in Abu Dhabi, and 20 percent in Dubai, with police spokespersons for both city directly attributing the service outage to the decline.

Gen Tamim said police found "a significant drop in accidents by young drivers and men on those three days". He said young people were the largest user group of the Messenger service.

"The accidents that occur from the use of these devices range between minor and moderate ones, but at times they are deadly," Gen Tamim said.

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."

Hey, at least something good came of RIM's blunder. [The National via BGR]