GCC traffic chiefs will debate road mishaps

ABU DHABI — GCC traffic departments chiefs will meet here today to discuss problems facing members states including the alarming increase in road accidents.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 13 Jun 2005, 10:55 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:58 PM

The meeting follows a two-day meeting of the GCC Traffic Awareness Committee which discussed the importance of awareness in reducing the high rate of road accidents.

Road accidents as a cause of death comes in the ninth place in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

According to a UK-based expert, road deaths cost the Gulf countries $7.5 billion or 1.5 per cent of their gross national product every year. Road accidents in GCC countries is about 6 per cent of the one million people killed every year in the road accidents worldwide. This is a huge number considering that GCC countries only have 2% of the cars in the world, according to reports.

These reports indicate that the region has the worst per capita ratio of road deaths record in the world. Oman leads with an average of 23 fatalities per 100,000 population every year, closely followed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE with 21 and 20 respectively.

In a bid to solve the problem, the officials will discuss a proposal to adopt a unified traffic law which will cater to speed, penalties and other safety regulations. The law has been drafted by the GCC General Secretariat and distributed to member states for any suggestions or amendments.

Some member states had already made use of the draft law and incorporated some of its clauses in their local traffic laws, officials said. Among other suggestions to curb traffic accidents specially on inter-GCC highways is a planned railway system linking the member states. The project is being carried out by a Kuwaiti consulting firm.

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