Dubai: 8 jaywalkers killed, 339 injured in road accidents in 2023, police say

There were also 43,817 pedestrians who were arrested for jaywalking or crossing the road in undesignated places, the authority said

by

Angel Tesorero

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Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File
Image used for illustrative purpose. Photo: File

Published: Fri 26 Jan 2024, 1:18 PM

Last updated: Sun 28 Jan 2024, 2:24 PM

Jaywalking is dangerous and can cost lives. Dubai Police on Friday said 8 people were killed and 339 more were injured in run-over accidents last year, as people crossed the roads from undesignated places.

Maj Gen Saif Muhair Al Mazrouei, director of General Traffic Department at Dubai Police, said a total of 320 run-over accidents were recorded in 2023. Eight people died and out of the 339 injuries, 33 were serious; 155 moderate; and 151 were considered minor.

The month of September last year saw the most number of jaywalkers caught by Dubai Police at 4,591, followed by May with 4,252 violations; then October at 4,239; and August at 4,169.

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Police caught 4,045 pedestrians jaywalking in November. There were 3,636 violations in January; 3,564 in March, 3,494 in July; 3,251 violations in February.

There were 2,979 jaywalkers caught in December; 2,914 violations in June, and the month of April saw the least number of violators at 2,683.

Thousands of violations

In total, 43,817 pedestrians were arrested for jaywalking last year and they were given a fine of Dh400 for each violation.

Dubai Police highlighted this dangerous behaviour in a short video they tweeted showing people caught on camera risking their lives as cars passed by.

In the video, there is one person carrying two boxes while jaywalking; while another one – wearing casual t-shirt and shorts – is seen casually crossing the street, seemingly unmindful of any danger. Another one stopped in the middle of the road and played a game of tag with passing cars.

Al Mazrouei said authorities have ramped up their operations by deploying police and civilian patrols to penalise violators.

Change in attitude

“Pedestrian safety must be taken more seriously,” road safety expert Thomas Edelmann told Khaleej Times. He said based on police reports, about 95 per cent of the run-over accidents are caused by jaywalkers.

He also called on motorists to “show caring and safe attitude towards pedestrians.

“Motorists must respect pedestrian crossings, those with and without traffic lights. I myself observe the majority of motorists not giving way to pedestrians on crossings without traffic light. This is a gross violation and comes with steep fines (failure to give way to pedestrians on zebra crossing will result in Dh500 fine and 6 black points,” noted Edelmann, who is the founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE.

“Delivery riders have a tendency not to respect pedestrians at crossings without traffic lights and the aggregator brands and fleet operators must address this. These riders also must stay away from walkways, where we see them regularly,” he added.

Edelmann continued: “Pedestrians must be especially aware of non-stopping delivery bike users, even if there are speed bumps in front of the crossing. In my neighbourhood, several delivery riders do not stop or slow down, even if pedestrians are already on the crossing. Be aware of micro-mobility users on walkways and the ‘dreaded’ e-scooters going against the flow of traffic - pedestrians must look both directions before crossing.”

Here are safety tips for pedestrians from RoadSafetyUAE:

  • Cross the street using pedestrian bridges, underpasses or dedicated crossings, including zebra crossings with or without traffic lights.
  • 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 safely all lanes of the street.
  • A good tip is also to make eye contact with drivers, so you are sure they noticed you.
  • Be extra careful when you walk near reversing cars.
  • Drivers often have a obstructed view and they might not see you when you are passing close to the car.
  • Keep your distance and try to anticipate the moves of the car.
  • Be careful in all kind of parking spaces.
  • Watch the children! Children have a different view of the traffic and often they lack experience of traffic movements
  • For parents, 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 – this protects pedestrians. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing the oncoming traffic.

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