ABU DHABI // The number of traffic casualties in Abu Dhabi dropped by nearly 20 per cent in 2012 compared to the previous year, traffic police figures show.
The number of crashes fell by 10 per cent, resulting in a drop in fatalities by 19 per cent and pedestrian deaths by 14 per cent.
This was despite a six per cent increase in the number of vehicles on the road, and an eight per cent increase in the number of registered drivers.
Speaking ahead of the 29th Gulf Traffic Week, Brig Gen Hussein Al Harthi, head of the Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police, yesterday said efforts to improve traffic safety in the emirate yielded positive results and was in line with Abu Dhabi's vision to achieve zero deaths on the roads by 2030.
Traffic police noted both the positive and negative trends in traffic safety in 2012. The number of motorway deaths fell by 33 per cent and the severity of the crashes dropped by 13 per cent in 2012 from the previous year.
The number of crashes caused by speeding declined by 23 percent, while collisions due to negligence and lack of attention fell by 12 per cent during the same period.
However, the number of crashes caused by running red lights increased by 22 per cent, tailgating or not leaving a safe distance between vehicles rose by 11 per cent, Emirati deaths increased by 4 per cent, and the number of drivers with three to five years' experience who caused the crashes climbed 25 per cent in 2012.
Brig Gen Al Harthi, who also reviewed the achievements of the traffic police between 2010 and 2012, said the levels of traffic safety improved over the past three years.
The number of injuries resulting from crashes dropped by 33 per cent, deaths by 34 per cent, serious injuries by 25 per cent and deaths among Emiratis by 17 per cent.
The number of road fatalities per 100,000 people decreased by 35 per cent, while the number of road deaths per 10,000 Abu Dhabi registered vehicles dropped by 46 per cent. The rate of deaths per 10,000 holders of driving licences fell by 50 per cent.
This proves the positive impact of the ambitious plan to improve traffic safety implemented by the directorate since the start of 2010, he said.
The comprehensive plan by the Traffic and Patrols Directorate includes traffic police vigilance on the roads, education and awareness, engineering improvements, quick response, and assessment.
Gulf Traffic Week will be March 10-14. The main event will be at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) auditorium in Dubai. The 2013 theme is "Our Goal is Your Safety", and will focus on three points: clarity of the awareness message, selecting suitable delivery channels, and reaching out to the largest number of road users.
The events include awareness forums and lectures delivered to mothers and children in hospitals, visiting patients injured in crashes, and school events in collaboration with the school managements in Dubai and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, said Maitha bin Udai, chief executive of the RTA's traffic and roads agency.