Two people die every day on UAE roads
Representational image(KT file)
Abu Dhabi - There were a total of 6,681 traffic injuries in 2016, compared to 6670 in 2015
By Jasmine Al Kuttab and Afkar Abdullah
Published: Sun 12 Mar 2017, 6:29 PM
Last updated: Sun 12 Mar 2017, 8:41 PM
Two people die in road accidents in the UAE every day, according to figures revealed by the Ministry of Interior on Sunday.
Brigadier Ghaith Al Zaabi, General Director of the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior, said although the number of accidents in the UAE has decreased from 4,796 in 2015 to 4,788 in 2016, the number of road deaths have increased.
An increase of 7.4 per cent was registered in 2016 with 725 deaths, compared to 675 deaths in 2015, Brig Al Zaabi said.
He was speaking at the opening of the GCC Traffic Week campaign in the Capital, where officials from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman joined together under one roof to raise public awareness on traffic safety.
Held Under the patronage of Lieutenant-General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, the week-long campaign aims to enhance road safety.
Major-General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi. Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police, also said curbing the number of road deaths is a priority for traffic police.
Survivors to give experiences
In Sharjah, at an event organised by the Sharjah Traffic and Patrols Department, Brig Saif Al Zeri Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of the Sharjah Police, said that the police are making great efforts to achieve the Ministry of Interior's vision aimed at placing the UAE on top of the list of safest countries in the world.
The number of fatal accidents in Sharjah has come down due to the traffic police's efforts in ensuring safety on the roads, he said.
The event was attended by top police officials and government officials as well as students and representatives of private companies.
Major Khalid Al Kai, head of the organising committee said victims who had survived traffic accidents will present their experiences as part of awareness campaigns during the GCC Traffic Week.
36% reduction in fatal accidents
The number of fatal accidents in Fujairah has been reduced by 36 per cent in 2016, causing death of 12 people, said Brig. Ali Rashid Al Yamahi, Director of the Traffic and Patrol Department of Fujairah Police, during the opening of the GCC Traffic Week.
The event was attended by Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Kaabi, Commander-in-Chief of the Fujairah Police and top officials of Fujairah government. A film which showed major traffic accidents on Fujairah roads was also shown during the event.
Brig Al Yamahi said that the number of causalities caused by traffic accidents was also reduced by 4.5 per cent in 2016. A total of 168 casualties was recorded in 2016 against 176 in 2015.
"As part of the GCC Traffic Week, awareness brochures will be distributed across the emirate and lectures will be organised in schools, universities and social associations" he added. To reduce the number of run-over accidents, nine pedestrian bridges and more zebra crossings will be established on major roads in the emirate.
Pedestrian safety emphasised in Dubai
In view of an increase in run-over accidents in Dubai, the GCC Traffic Week stressed on the importance on educating road users about pedestrian safety.
Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and Major-General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police, attended the opening events of the event at City Walk.
The strong emphasis on pedestrian safety is in view of the rise of deaths due to run-over accidents from 0.6 per 100,000 population in 2015 to one fatality per 100,000 population in 2016.
3D canvas graphics on pedestrian safety and a children's playground linked with educative concepts about pedestrian safety are prepared for the event, in addition to a smart app of Salama Magazine which contains interactive games to bring the traffic concepts closer to children in the age group of 7-14 years.
"Diffusing the traffic culture and education amongst road users is a community duty which can only be made with the concerted efforts of government and private entities and all community spectrums, especially parents," said Al Tayer.
Major-General Al Marri said that the events at RTA's stand contribute to raising community awareness.
Traffic law amendments from this year
The Ministry of Interior revealed on Sunday that there will be amendments to the Federal Traffic Law to reduce traffic accidents, which will be announced during the year, correlating to the ministry's aim of lowering traffic accidents to three per 100,000 vehicles in the UAE.
Lieutenant-General Saif Abdullah Al Sha'far, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior, said cooperation between the six countries in conducting the GCC Traffic Week confirms the importance of reducing the number of road deaths in the entire region. He said the ministry will continue to raise awareness and help reduce the number of traffic accidents and traffic violations.
New patrol vehicle on show
As part of the event, the Sharjah Police have showcased the new patrol vehicles, each equipped with eight cameras linked directly with the Operations Room to monitor the movement of traffic and detect violations, in an exhibition. The exhibition also includes the new civil defence vehicle for early intervention in case of fire accidents.
The exhibition include pavilions various traffic departments, national ambulance, medical patrol, Emirates Transport Authority and University of Sharjah.
Traffic casualties 2016-2015
No. of accident deaths 725 675
No. of accidents 4,788 4,796
No. of accident injuries 6,681 6,670