KT for good: Stop speeding, it kills
Part 2 of the 14-part series explains how your need for speed can prove fatal.
Published: Wed 16 Jan 2019, 8:37 PM
Last week, a group of young men was speeding along the Emirates Road from Dubai, heading towards Ajman. Their car swerved and smashed into a concrete barrier on the side of the road before flipping over several times and bursting into flames.
One of them died and four others were seriously injured. The police had to call the Ministry of Interior's Air Wing division to bring them to the hospital.
Every time Khaleej Times reports an accident, it seems like there is a template: Speeding driver loses control, car veers off the road and overturns several times.
Last month, two Emirati sisters - aged nine and six years - were killed after the car they were travelling in veered off the road and crashed into another vehicle in Oman.
Their father and another sister were critically injured in the accident.
But the people inside the car are not the only ones in peril. Just two days after we welcomed 2019, a horrific accident took place in Sharjah, where a 34-year-old Emirati national was immediately killed after he lost control of the wheel and rammed his car into a Federal Electricity and Water Authority truck parked on the side of the Mleiha road. The car hit a 28-year-old Indian worker who had been fixing an electric pole. The expat worker suffered critical injuries.
Also last month, on Christmas Eve, a 35-year-old Pakistani cyclist - Mohammad Irfan - died after he was run over by a speeding car in Ras Al Khaimah, and a couple of weeks before this incident, a 57-year-old Asian expat succumbed to fatal injuries he received after he was run over by a car driven by a 26-year-old man in RAK.
There was one main culprit in the death of these people: Speeding. And it is horrifying to note, based on statistics, that at least one person dies every two days or four persons (statistically, 4.42) die every week or at least 18 persons (17.68) every month.
In 2017 alone, 230 people died due to speeding (almost half of the total 525 people who died in different types of road accidents).
In the same year, speeding resulted in 1,535 accidents. That's a disturbing figure that translates to 4.2 accidents every day.
The crashes actually went down from 1,787 accidents and 312 fatalities in 2016, but the numbers are still high.
Early last year, authorities launched a unified traffic campaign dubbed 'Don't let speeding turn you into a killer'.
Major-General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, chairman of the Federal Traffic Council and Dubai Police assistant commander-in-chief for operations, said: "Police authorities are making all efforts to achieve the goal of making the UAE one of the safest countries in the world."
He noted that Dubai has an active campaign to reduce to zero the number of fatalities per 100,000 residents in the city by 2020, while the federal target is to reduce the deaths to just three per 100,000 residents by 2021 in the entire country.
Al Zafeen also underlined that improving the behaviour of motorists by spreading the culture of road safety is the key to significantly reduce the staggering 7.727 million speed violations across the country in 2017, which is actually down from the 8.61 million speed violations recorded in 2016.
Official figures are yet to be available for 2018.
How to do it right
> Adhere to the speed limits at all times
> Adjust your speed in 'tricky' situations, such as in curves, on parking lots or when pedestrians are on the street
> Adjust your speed in bad weather conditions with limited visibility like fog, rain and sandstorms
> Make sure that you can stop your vehicle within the distance of visibility
> Plan your trip well to be on time without speeding
Know the law
As per Ministerial Resolution No. 178 of 2017:
Reckless driving will incur a fine of Dh2,000, 23 black points and vehicle impounding for a period of 60 days.
The same punishment and fine will apply to drivers who endanger the lives of others.
Those exceeding the speed limit by 80kmph will be fined Dh3,000, slapped with 23 black points and have their car impounded for 60 days.