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Joy of BlackBerry outage: Fewer Arab car smashes

One glorious corollary of RIM's long service outage is that traffic accidents plummeted in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Anyone who has had to endure "Sex and the City 2" will know that Abu Dhabi is, at least on film, a cheerily idiosyncratic place.

How can one not be overjoyed, therefore, to hear that the locals found a delightfully positive aspect to the recent outage that blanked their BlackBerrys for what seemed like months (in money-making terms, at least)?

The South Atlantic News Agency reports that the outage allowed drivers to concentrate on other things. The road, for example. Other cars, too. And, well other people.

The South Atlantic quoted Brigadier Gen Al Harethi, the director of Abu Dhabi police's traffic department, as revealing: "Accidents were reduced by 40 percent, and the fact that BlackBerry services were down definitely contributed to that."

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The Abu Dhabi police's Web site is a picture of hope. Its motto is the inordinately uplifting: "We ensure your safety in the fastest way."

The police in neighboring Dubai also told South Atlantic that they had enjoyed a drop of 20 percent in accidents and offered the interesting explanation that the BlackBerry outage significantly assisted "young drivers and men" to act with a sudden and welcome responsibility.

Dubai yesterday instituted another law to make driving safer: You are no longer allowed to put on makeup while you are driving.

I cannot possibly confirm that there were a lot of "young drivers and men" who were prone to putting on their makeup, fiddling with their BlackBerry, and driving all at the same time.

However, as reported by Emirates 24/7 News, the Dubai police declared that--most interestingly--while 15 percent of Dubai drivers are women, they cause merely 8.6 percent of the car accidents.

Perhaps these nations might organize some more random BlackBerry outages in order to drill even deeper into the dangerous personal predilections of their drivers.