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Police reach out during Eid al Fitr

Officers from Abu Dhabi Community Police visited victims of car accidents at several hospitals in the emirate to mark Eid al Fitr.

ABU DHABI // Officers from Abu Dhabi Community Police visited victims of car accidents yesterday at several hospitals in the emirate to mark Eid al Fitr. The officers presented bouquets and brochures on community policing to patients at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City and Al Ain Hospital. The visits were headed by Lt Saif al Jabri, the director of the community policing unit in Al Ain.

"The purpose was to show them that the community cares about them and to bring them joy on this special occasion," Abu Dhabi Community Police said in a statement. Officers also visited public parks and tourist areas, where they distributed gifts and flowers. This year Abu Dhabi Police began establishing networks of community officers in schools, businesses and residential areas. The community police unit also launched a campaign to educate people on the dangers of reckless driving.

In 2008, 663 pedestrians in Abu Dhabi were struck by cars, up from 583 in 2007. In the first 71 days of this year, 26 pedestrians were killed crossing Abu Dhabi's roads. Most of the accidents involved children. According to the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi, only 11 per cent of Emiratis and 44 per cent of expatriates wear seat belts. In June, the authority launched its own campaign under the heading Drive Safe, Save Lives, to help to curb the estimated 23 per cent of traffic accidents that occur because of irresponsible behaviour.

Abu Dhabi Police is also warning motorists of the dangers of speaking on mobile phones and sending and reading text messages while driving. In its most recent road safety campaign, the force has introduced brand-name seat belts to encourage the habit of buckling up among younger drivers, the group that is most resistant to using seat belts. newsdesk@thenational.ae

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