Racing Ace Calls For Stricter Road Safety Measures

DUBAI - Government and private institutions have to play bigger roles to ensure road safety, particularly among the youth, Lebanese Formula-3 driver Basil Shabaan said during presentations in schools here.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Tue 4 Nov 2008, 12:27 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:17 PM

As part of the Middle East Road Safety Campaign by Shell, Shabaan spoke to the students at Dubai National, Greenwood and Al Maaref in Al Nahda, Dubai.

Shabaan is a United Nations World Youth Ambassador for road safety.

Every year, 1.2 million people die in accidents, 50 million are injured and every 82 seconds sees an individual under the age of 25 die in a traffic related accident, Shabaan said while presenting statistics.

“UAE has one of the highest fatality rates in road and traffic accidents in comparison elsewhere. Speeding, reckless driving and tail-gating are the three main reasons for these road related accidents, and unfortunately the majority of the victims are young,” said Shabaan who spoke to Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the awareness programme.

“It is quite natural for youngsters to remove their frustration out on to the roads by speeding and reckless driving. On an average every 1 km/ hour drop in the speed leads to a 5 per cent decrease in fatal crashes.”

He added: “Stricter implementation of traffic rules, more speed barriers and introduction of better infrastructure by the local police authority as well as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has seen a considerable reduction in the amount of traffic related accidents in the UAE in the last one year” added Basil.

Shabaan listed a few guidelines that the youth should follow while being on the road.

He said that the car seat buckle reduces the risk of injury by 45 per cent and the risk of death by 50 per cent.

The usage of helmets reduces the risk and severity of head injury by 70 per cent.

Shabaan also demonstrated how the usage of a car seat belt can reduce the impact of falling forward and avoiding major injury.

“There should also be specially allocated areas where the youth can practise speeding under strict safety regulations,” he said.

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