ABU DHABI // Fatal road accidents in the UAE dropped by 23 per cent and injuries by 21 per cent in the first six months of this year, compared with the same period last year, official figures show. Accidents involving two or more vehicles fell by 25 per cent, said Colonel Ghaith al Za'abi, the director general of the Ministry of Interior's traffic co-ordination administration.
He put the decline in accidents and casualties down to the ministry's road safety programmes. "Statistics show a decline of traffic mishaps across the Emirates to 3,581 in the first six months of 2010, from 5,032 in the same period in 2009," Colonel al Za'abi said. "[This] led to a slump in fatalities and injuries to 391 and 4,372, from 495 and 5,652 respectively. "The massive deployment of traffic patrols on the roads across the country and enforcement of the black points system have had a positive impact on observance of traffic rules.
"Tightening the noose on reckless and hostile motorists through a set of deterrent measures and aggressive traffic awareness campaigns targeting all road users were among many factors that led to that positive outcome." The figures showed that, nationwide, collisions were down from 3,323 to 2,544, incidents of overturned vehicles dropped from 573 to 442, and accidents involving pedestrians fell from 1,011 to 733.
Dubai recorded the most accidents, followed by Abu Dhabi. In Dubai, traffic accidents dropped from 1,915 in the first half of 2009 to 1,358 in the corresponding half in this year, said Col al Za'abi. The number of people who died or were injured dropped by 25 and 51 per cent respectively. "Abu Dhabi reported a shrink of 26 per cent in traffic accidents, from 1,631 in the January-June period 2009 to 1,211 in the same half of 2010. This brought the traffic death toll down from 216 to 174, and injuries from 1,908 to 1,756," said Col al Za'abi.
Sharjah saw a decrease of 18.5 per cent in accidents in the first six months, year-on-year. In Ajman, accidents and deaths fells by 22 and 31 per cent respectively, but the number of injuries increased by 11 per cent. There was a 21 per cent fall in accidents in Umm al Qaiwain, but the number of dead and injured went up 11 and nine per cent respectively. Traffic accidents fell by 25 per cent in Ras al Khaimah. Deaths and injuries went down 23 and 10 per cent.
Deaths in accidents in Fujairah increased 12.5 per cent against a 27 per cent fall in injuries, said Col al Za'abi. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org