Shutterstock

A nice idea in theory that's nonetheless super unsafe.

Worker satisfaction is important, and keeping workers motivated is a smart-sounding managerial strategy. It's especially smart if the employee you're trying to motivate has the lives of 40 or 50 people in his or her hands. So it's both heartening and disheartening to see a potentially dangerous new effort coming out of Dubai to motivate bus drivers.

First the heartening part: Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority has begun sending motivational messages to their bus drivers, written in each driver's native language, according to this article from Gulf News.

Now the disheartening part: they're sending these motivational messages to the drivers via text message while they're driving the bus.

"The system will send two text messages to drivers in each shift via RTA Bus Control Centre in a bid to encourage drivers and uplift their morale, reduce traffic accidents and accordingly achieve higher levels of safety and security for passengers and road users," Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dossary, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency told Gulf News.

Uplifting driver morale sounds like a great idea. But there's something about pulling your phone out of your pocket to read a text message while you're driving a 10-ton bus that doesn't seem to mesh with the idea of reducing traffic accidents.

In fact, it may lead to more accidents. According to research [PDF] from the U.S. Department of Transportation, drivers are 23 times more likely to crash when they are reading or sending text messages. Crashing into a telephone pole is one surefire way to lower driver morale. And with car ownership steadily rising in Dubai to more than 56 percent this year, there will be more cars on the road that bus drivers will have to both see and avoid.

This idea needs to go back to the drawing board. There's got to be other ways to make drivers more motivated to do their jobs. How about a raise?

Top image: Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  2. A row of tractor trailers lined up at a truck stop.
    Transportation

    The Truckers Who Are Taking on Human Trafficking

    In Arkansas, the “knights of the road” are being trained to combat truck-stop prostitution.

  3. Maps

    Mapping Where Europe's Population Is Moving, Aging, and Finding Work

    Younger people are fleeing rural areas, migrating northward, and having fewer children. Here’s how that’s changing the region.

  4. An illustration of a front porch.
    Life

    America Rediscovers Its Love of the Front Porch

    In the 20th century, porches couldn’t compete with TV and air conditioning. Now this classic feature of American homes is staging a comeback as something more stylish and image-conscious than ever before.

  5. Life

    Is Minimalism for Black People?

    Black communities have long practiced core tenets of the lifestyle—yet are not well-represented amongst its most recognizable influencers.