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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Dubai road deaths drop by 31 per cent

An accident takes place on Dubai roads every three minutes because of motorists not leaving enough distance between vehicles, according to a police official

Road deaths dropped from 112 in the first six months of 2016 to 77 this year during the same period. Ramon Penas / The Natonal
Road deaths dropped from 112 in the first six months of 2016 to 77 this year during the same period. Ramon Penas / The Natonal

Road deaths in Dubai have decreased by 31 per cent during the past six months when compared to the same period last year, a policeman said on Sunday.

Some 77 people died in 1,395 traffic accidents in the first half of this year in comparison to 112 deaths last year.

Maj Gen Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, chairman of the Federal Traffic Council and assistant commander-in-chief of Dubai Police, said the drop in road deaths was a result of stricter traffic regulations and increased police patrols.

Sudden swerving, failure to keep a safe distance between cars and driving under the influence were among the leading causes of collisions and deaths, an official at Dubai Police said.

“An accident takes place on Dubai roads every three minutes because of motorists not leaving enough distance between vehicles,” Maj Gen Al Zafeen said.

Tailgating caused 19 deaths in 302 accidents and driving under the influence of alcohol caused 207 accidents that killed two, according to statistics from the Dubai Police traffic department.

Maj Gen Al Zafeen said that sudden swerving led to 17 deaths in 307 accidents and caused injuries to 262 people.

Recent changes in traffic laws saw the fine for distracted driving double to Dh800.

“Once police saw a motorist smoking shisha while driving. The motorist was fined, but before the new traffic law came into force,” said Maj Gen Al Zafeen.

He said police were working on putting an end to motorists use their mobile phones while driving.

“We want to stop people from being distracted on the roads. This behaviour while driving imposes a great threat on their lives,” Maj Gen Al Zafeen said.

Currently six people in 100,000 die in road accidents across the UAE.

Maj Gen Al Zafeen said the General Traffic Council hope to reduce the number to 3 deaths per 100,000 residents by 2021.

Meanwhile, nine Dubai drivers were fined for failing to ensure back seat passengers had their seat belts fastened in the first three days since a new traffic law came into force.

According to the updated traffic rules, which came into force on July 1, motorists are fined Dh400 and receive four black points on their licence if their back seat passengers do not fasten their seat belts.

Maj Gen Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, chairman of the Federal Traffic Council and assistant commander-in-chief of Dubai Police, said: “About 70 per cent to 80 per cent of motorists fasten their seat belts and we are expecting this percentage to reach 100 per cent. This is the main purpose of the recent traffic rules.”