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Private cars killed 44 people on Dubai roads in 9 months Filed on September 12, 2017
Private cars killed 44 people on Dubai roads in 9 months


Speeding and jaywalking biggest concerns

Private cars topped the list of vehicles involved in road accidents that caused the death of 44 people, out of the total 90 traffic fatalities during the nine months of this year, said Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazrouei, director of the Dubai Traffic Department at Dubai Police. He attributed most of the accidents to speeding, reckless driving, and pedestrians crossing roads from non-designated places.

Al Mazrouei pointed out that Dubai Traffic is optimistic about reducing the accidents and death index over the next two years through new amendments to the traffic rules and the introduction of the provisions of the unified federal law. It is imperative to create traffic awareness among the motorists to achieve positive results, he pointed out.

After private cars, the large buses caused most number of accidents, indicate statistics from the department of monitoring and statistical analysis in the Department of Traffic Accident Planning. The large buses claimed 10 lives, followed by light cargo vehicles which killed 9 people. The minibuses caused 8 road deaths. Motorcycles and heavy trucks snuffed out 7 lives each, while the public cars caused 1 death.

Al-Mazrouei pointed out that during the last year, Dubai traffic department has recorded 880 road accidents leaving 1,375 injured.
He said that despite the fines introduced against jaywalkers, many continue to break the traffic rules and jump fences and cross roads from non-designated areas.

Media had reported about an elderly tourist jaywalking and crossing 12 lanes of Shaikh Zayed Road, pointed out Lieutenant Colonel Rashid Mohammad Saleh, deputy director of Bur Dubai police station. He said that the old man first crossed six lanes, and then climbed over the barrier crossing the other six lanes. The man later claimed that he was not aware that it is illegal as he is a visitor.

Al-Mazrouei said that some pedestrians are forced to cross roads from non-designated areas because of lack of enough number of pedestrian overbridges, subways or crossings on Dubai roads. Accidents involving pedestrians are a major challenge the police have to tackle every day. Most of these accidents take place on highways - especially Emirates Road, Al Khail Road and Dubai-Al Ain Road.
He said that reducing run over accidents is one of the top priorities of the traffic police, and added that there was a need to educate both motorists and pedestrians about proper road usage. Also, motorists should be educated to respect pedestrians, he pointed out. He, however, warned people against crossing roads from non-designated places.

Pedestrians' predicament

Yazun Mohamed, a Dubai resident, said: "We live in Al Garhoud area. I prevent my children from crossing the roads from non-designated areas as it is very dangerous. Unfortunately, people are forced to cross some six-lane roads from non-designated places due to lack of enough zebra crossings at long stretches. Some pedestrians - especially elderly and women - find it difficult to walk under the sun for a long distance to find a subway or zebra crossing."

Another resident, Othman Hassan, pointed out that workers had no option but to walk for a long distance to cross the six-lane roads because they do not have enough money to take a taxi to go to the other side of the road despite there being no crossing for a long stretch. Al Hassan said the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the traffic police should provide subways, zebra crossings and bridges for pedestrians before imposing fines on them.

A worker said more police personnel must be deployed near the crossings and heavy penalties imposed on errant motorists.

Amira Agarib

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