KT for good: Safe street crossing in UAE

 

KT for good: Safe street crossing in UAE

Dubai - Speeding is a big problem on UAE roads, and so is jaywalking.

by

Angel Tesorero

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Published: Thu 24 Jan 2019, 9:16 PM

An Asian expat was heading home after a day's work. As he crossed the street, he was knocked down by a speeding motorist. He suffered multiple fractures to his body and died on the spot.
The driver claimed it was the fault of the pedestrian because the victim crossed the road from a non-pedestrian crossing area. But investigators said both played a part in the fatal accident. The death was caused by speeding and inattentiveness on the part of the driver and also the pedestrian's failure to abide by traffic laws.

The incident happened last year and the court convicted the driver and ordered him to pay blood money of Dh100,000 to the victim's family. The driver, however, was spared from paying the full amount because the pedestrian played a part in causing the accident when he crossed from a wrong spot of the road, according to the judge. The court also ordered the motorist to be jailed for three months.

Speeding is a big problem on UAE roads, and so is jaywalking. In 2017, at least 50,700 violators were fined by the Abu Dhabi Police. The number of offenders increased by 21 per cent as compared to 2016.

The number of fatal run-over accidents, however, has seen a significant decrease. According to authorities, 50 pedestrians were killed in the Capital in 2017, a 21 per cent reduction from the number of fatal run-over accidents in 2016 when 63 people died.
In Dubai, 36 pedestrians were killed from January to November 2018, down from a total of 48 deaths in 2017 and 59 fatalities in 2016. The Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road, the Emirates Road and Jebel Ali Zone 1 are considered hotspots, where the highest numbers of run-over accidents and fatalities were recorded over the past three years, according to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

The solution that authorities are looking at is to increase the number of footbridges across the city. At present, there are 113 footbridges and the target is to have a total of 167 footbridges in Dubai by 2023.

Aside from the upgrade in infrastructure and the construction of footbridges, the RTA has also launched a series of awareness campaigns with a particular focus on reducing traffic-related injuries and deaths among workers and pedestrians in hotspot areas.

Pakistani expat Noman Khan told Khaleej Times: "Building a pedestrian overpass is a first step towards reducing road fatalities, and people should cross only in designated areas. But motorists must slow down in residential areas, too. Once, I was almost hit by a speeding car. Thankfully, it came to a screeching halt and nothing happened to me. Motorists who speed in residential areas put pedestrians at risk."

How to do it right?

> Cross the street using pedestrian bridges, underpasses or dedicated zebra crossings

> At zebra crossings with traffic lights, only walk at 'green', and should the signal start to blink or switch to red, make sure you hurry up to reach the other side of the road.

> At zebra crossings without traffic lights, you must be very careful since not all cars will stop for you. Only walk when you can cross all lanes of the street safely.

> A good tip is to make eye contact with drivers, so you are sure they noticed you.


Know the law:

> Dh400 - Fine for jaywalking

> Beware: Don't break the law even if there are no police around. Officers dressed in civilian clothes are carrying out random inspections and handing out fines to jaywalkers.

> 23 black points, 60-day confiscation (for light vehicles) and fine to be decided by court - penalty to motorists who caused someone's death

> 23 black points, 30-day confiscation (for light vehicles) and fine to be decided by court - penalty to motorists who caused serious injuries
> Reversing cars: Be extra careful when you walk near reversing cars.

> Keep your distance and try to anticipate the moves of the car.

> Be careful in all kind of parking spaces.

> Watch the children. They have a different view of the traffic and often they lack experience of traffic movements

> Make sure you watch your kids very closely in all forms of traffic.

> Make sure kids don't play close to streets or reversing cars.

> Always use sidewalks

> If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing the oncoming traffic.
Important reminder:

Don't chat or write text messages on your mobile phones when crossing the road

Source: RoadSafetyUAE

Let the walks be safe

In Abu Dhabi

> 50,700 jaywalkers were fined by the Abu Dhabi Police in 2017. The number of offenders increased by 21% as compared to 2016

> 50 pedestrians were killed as they were run over by vehicles in 2017, a 21% decrease in the number of fatal run-over accidents in 2016, when 63 people died

In Dubai

> 36 pedestrians were killed from January-November 2018 on Dubai roads, down from a total of 48 deaths in 2017 and 59 fatalities in 2016

> 113 footbridges are there in Dubai

> 167 is the target number of footbridges in Dubai by 2023.

> Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, Emirates Road and Jebel Ali Zone 1 are hotspots in Dubai, where the highest number of run-over accidents and fatalities were recorded over the past three years. (With inputs from Ismail Sebugwaawo)

angel@khaleejtimes.com

Residents voice concern over rise in run-over accidents in RAK

Ahmed Shaaban
With four pedestrians killed on the roads of Ras Al Khaimah in three months, residents have voiced their concerns over the dramatic spike in such terrible accidents.
Late last December, a 35-year-old Pakistani man, identified as Mohammad Irfan, succumbed to fatal injuries after a speeding car ran over him while he was riding a bicycle.
Early in the same month, a 57-year-old Asian resident was killed after he was run over by a car driven by a 26-year-old Emirati.
Jordanian Abdulhafeez Jamal said he lost one of his closest friends in a hit-and-run accident.
"My friend Mahmoud was crossing the Airport Road in Ras Al Khaimah when a speeding motorist ran over him and fled the scene."
Egyptian Ahmed El Behiry said he went through a similar experience. "A speeding driver ran over my right leg and broke it in half two years ago when I was crossing the road from a pedestrian lane, and the traffic signal was red."
Mohammed Salem, a safety engineer, said residents need to be extra cautious when crossing the road, and "only cross the road from designated areas".
Motorists are also advised to observe speed limits and slow down on busy roads, in residential areas, and during foggy and unstable weather. The bodies concerned also need to build more pedestrian crossings, particularly at hotspots, he said.
He also suggested metal barriers to deter jaywalkers from crossing the road haphazardly. Police sources said pedestrians and bikers should be given priority on the road, mainly on the zebra crossing areas. -ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com


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