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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Number of road deaths in Ramadan falls by nearly half

Traffic chief hail safety initiatives for sharp fall in deaths and injuries on UAE roads

Motorists are facing delays on the E311 this morning. Satish Kumar / The National
Motorists are facing delays on the E311 this morning. Satish Kumar / The National

The number of people killed on UAE roads during Ramadan has nearly halved - as traffic bosses and campaigners hail the success of safety initiatives for the welcome fall.

A total 16 people died in road crashes during the first half of the holy month - but the figure is down from the 26 fatalities recorded during the same period last year.

The statistics, released by the Ministry of Interior, showed the number of injuries suffered were also down by 42 per cent, from 237 to 136.

Sudden swerving, failing to leave a safe distance between vehicles and mistakes by drivers were cited as the main causes of fatalities by the Ministry of Interior.

A total of 111 traffic collisions occurred during the first two weeks of Ramadan - also down from the 157 recorded in the equivalent period in 2017.

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Read more:

Male motorists most likely to cause holy month road accidents, study finds

Ramadan 2018: heavy vehicle ban during rush hour

Road rage main driver behind Ramadan crashes

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Colonel Abduallah Al Kaabi, deputy director of the traffic coordination department at the Ministry of Interior, said: "Not abiding by traffic rules caused most of the traffic accidents."

Col Al Kaabi attributed the decrease in traffic accidents and fatalities to the ongoing efforts by traffic departments across the country to improve road safety and increase driver awareness about the dangers on the road.

The founder of Road Safety UAE, Thomas Edelmann, believes that the hard work by government bodies, including traffic police and the Road and Transport Authority, has paid off.

He says it is 'amazing' to see a significant improvement in road safety and says the 'penny has dropped' with many motorists regarding their behaviour when behind the wheel.

"Traffic fatalities have decreased a lot this Ramadan. More are using the seatbelt, after the introduction of the law," said Mr Edelmann.

“It is truly amazing to see a reduction in Ramadan fatalities on the country’s roads. Ramadan is such a special time for the UAE and this positive trend is much welcomed.

“An increasing number of traffic educational workshops and awareness activities have taken place just before and during Ramadan. It seems the penny dropped with UAE motorists. In Ramadan it is all about caring for others and it seems that drivers started displaying a better driving behaviour,” added Mr Edelmann.