On a recent trip to Abu Dhabi, my friend took me on a city tour. While we were enjoying the open, clean and organized roads, something that seemed like a police patrol car grabbed my attention, but it was not a regular police jeep – it was the happiness patrol! This police initiative aims to promote positive values and encourage road users to abide by traffic laws.
In 2016, UAE’s minister of state for happiness and commander-in-chief of Abu Dhabi police launched the traffic happiness patrol, the first initiative of its kind in the UAE. Let me tell you that these days, everything in the UAE is about the concept of happiness and positivity. I think it is a fantastic idea to spread among people.
The happiness patrols are not for entertainment, but have several goals including the task of reducing traffic accident rates. They aim to build a positive relationship with the public by informing and providing road users with information and guidance. It has a social function as well, by encouraging people to adhere to the rules of traffic to enhance public confidence and respect of the police and policemen.
They created the idea of reward instead of violation through the dissemination of a culture of adherence to the rules of traffic and happiness of road users by rewarding them with a “happiness voucher” or “yellow card”, and remove black points from the driver’s record and replace them with white dots.
In Kuwait, we are also a diverse society, so what do we need to do to attain this level of traffic awareness? I see people driving as if they are fighting to reach their destinations, and many lives are lost because of recklessness, speeding and non-compliant drivers who ignore traffic laws. Even the dignity of policemen is humiliated, and they don’t receive the appreciation they deserve for their hard work in the Kuwaiti weather. We need hundreds of initiatives to spread a culture of respect and commitment, along with happiness.
Such projects where happiness is an end, with the government sector as a key partner, will surely lead to creating the right environment for the happiness of the individual and society. The achievement of human development in any society requires not only money, but a lot of smart and sincere initiatives like this one for a better life.
Well done! I am happy already.
By Muna Al-Fuzai