RAK road accidents drop

RAS AL KHAIMAH - Ras Al Khaimah, with its natural beauty, has always been a popular getaway of people from across the emirates, though its roads have not been that popular.

By Sebugwaawo Ismail

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Published: Sun 21 Nov 2010, 12:21 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:04 PM

At worst, they are considered treacherous, especially the winding roads through the mountains, which ironically are the greatest attraction.

Despite this not so encouraging image, many holidaymakers and revellers do not bother to watch their speed and skid to deaths and injuries in accidents, which have been the greatest challenge of the emirate’s authorities.

The last was on the first day of Eid Al Adha on Tuesday when a 29-year-old Emirati local resident died as his vehicle overturned on Saeed Road.

However, the Traffic and Licensing Department of the emirate now says accidents have dropped.

Col Nasser Salem Al Muraddad, Chief of the department, said they have dropped by almost 25 per cent during the last ten months.

According to the department, more than 40 people died in over 850 major accidents in Ras Al Khaimah since January this year.

In 2009, 80 people died in 930 major accidents across the emirate and 97 died in 2008. The decrease in accidents has been attributed to the department’s extensive road safety awareness campaigns among road users and the drivers’ adherence to the traffic rules and regulations.

Col Al Muraddad said the department has been carrying safety awareness drives involving various segments of people, including drivers, parents, officials in government and private institutions, workers and schoolchildren, which have helped in reducing accidents.

“During the recent years, reports of accidents caused by heavy trucks and other motorists on various roads of the emirate were on the increase which necessitated the department to chalk out urgent measures,” said Al Muraddad.

The department set the agenda for the campaigns and legislation aimed at maintaining safety on the roads, reducing fatalities and serious injuries, and enforcing traffic rules and regulations.

Brochures and pamphlets detailing traffic rules and regulations, guidelines for safe driving and the consequences of speeding and bad driving to both drivers and other road users have been distributed to motorists and the public.

The Traffic Police also deployed more patrols and officers on various roads across the emirate to monitor traffic flow and crack down on errant drivers, said Col Al Muraddad.

The Traffic Department has been conducting safety awareness campaigns in schools which involved students, bus drivers and attendants which helped promote awareness among the students regarding the safe ways of boarding and alighting from school buses, crossing roads, and the need to be careful on roads and strictly observe traffic rules and regulations.

Since the year began, collisions, run-over accidents, overturning of vehicles and accidents involving school children have decreased in Ras Al Khaimah compared to the previous years, according to the officer.

However, more measures are still required to improve safety on the roads, as accidents still occur. Despite the Traffic Police’s best efforts, some motorists continue to violate traffic rules and regulations.

The violations include speeding beyond the permitted limits, driving without licences which is common among youngsters, driving recklessly and improper overtaking especially in non-designated areas.

Roads blamed

Colonel Hassan Rashid Al Braiki, Deputy Director of the Traffic and Licensing Department, said roads in the emirate have not been able to accommodate the increasing number of vehicles registered in the past five years which has resulted in many accidents.

The majority of roads are inadequate for the number of vehicles using them. Many companies and factories have been set up in the emirate and the number of people applying for driving licences has increased tremendously whereas the roads have remained the same.

“This particular reason has caused road accidents, fatalities and injuries,” said the officer.

He, however, said the department is coordinating with the municipality, and the Public Works and Services Department to improve the roads.

There is a need to build new roads and widen on the old ones with all safety features to cope with the increasing number of vehicles in the emirate, said an expert working with a private company in Ras Al Khaimah.


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