Abu Dhabi: New policies to protect delivery riders as accidents rise by 23%

Riders typically work up to 14 hours a day covering 400km in each shift, according to data



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 8 Dec 2021, 5:03 PM

With a sharp rise in the number of road accidents and deaths involving delivery riders, local authorities are coming up with new policies and regulations to monitor, control and ensure that riders wear personal protective equipment and improve their driving behaviour in Abu Dhabi, top officials said.

As many as 162 crashes involving riders took place in 2019, which increased to 170 in 2020 and hit 210 this year - a year-on-year rise of 23 per cent. The number of fatalities has been on the rise, too: from nine in 2019 to 13 in 2020.

As part of the safety campaign for delivery motorcyclists, launched by the Joint Committee for Traffic Safety in Abu Dhabi, the committee held an awareness workshop for delivery riders to discuss the importance of wearing personal protective equipment. The campaign was launched in line with the vision zero strategy aiming to reach zero fatalities on Abu Dhabi roads.

“There have been a lot of accidents and fatalities over the last two years. This workshop is the first initiative to increase the awareness on personal protective equipment. If motorcycle riders are not fully equipped with protective gears, a minor accident can cripple them for life," Sumaya Saeed Al Neyadi, road safety section head at the Integrated Transport Centre, told reporters.

Wearing personal protective equipment - such as helmet, jacket, boots, gloves, trousers - will reduce the chance of a severe injury by 50 per cent and a standard helmet is likely to reduce the risk of severe head injury by 70 per cent. The root cause for most of the accidents - about 79 per cent - was due to non-compliance with traffic laws and by tailgating.

“In most of the times, safety issues can be traced back to the riders and their driving behaviour. Delivery riders were spotted overtaking cars, not wearing proper protective equipment, speeding, working long hours resulting in fatigue and so on,” Al Neyadi said.

According to a survey conducted by the ITC, data have shown that riders typically work up to 14 hours a day covering 400km in each shift.

ALSO READ:

The committee will continue to hold more workshops in the coming months to highlight issues associated with speeding and driving behaviour.

Gift cards will be awarded to riders who commit to traffic law and safety guidelines that include wearing full PPEs such as helmet, jacket, trouser, glove, boot and adhering to safe driving behaviour.

Captain Faisal Al Dhanhani from Abu Dhabi Police said that riders obeying instructions will be rewarded by the Happiness Patrol gifts of Etisalat calling cards.

“You have families waiting for you back home. So, ride safely. And tell your friends, too. I don’t want to fine you but instead, I want to give you gifts. I am always thinking about your safety. You are being monitored 24/7. Even when there is no one on the road at 2am and you jump a red light, you are still being watched,” the officer told riders at the workshop.


More news from UAE