x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Road deaths in Dubai 'down by 32%'

Police say drivers and walkers are listening to campaign warnings.

Accidents like this one, where a woman was killed and three others were injured, are on the decrease, according to the latest police figures.
Accidents like this one, where a woman was killed and three others were injured, are on the decrease, according to the latest police figures.

DUBAI // Fewer people are being killed on the emirate's roads thanks to police safety campaigns.

There has been a 32 per cent drop in the number of deaths so far this year compared with the same period of 2011.

Police said there were 38 deaths, down from 56 last year. Last month one person was killed, compared with 11 in May 2011.

It is not only Dubai where roads are getting safer: Abu Dhabi Police this week reported a 45 per cent decline in traffic deaths - from 130 to 71 - over the first four months of this year compared with the same period of last year.

Dubai Police credit greater awareness by drivers and jaywalkers for the lower death toll.

"The drop is mainly due to increased adherence on behalf of motorists and pedestrians to the rules and regulations," said Maj Gen Mohammed Saif Al Zaffin, head of the Dubai Police traffic department. "The level of driving behaviour among motorists in Dubai is now very good."

In January seven people died on the roads compared with nine in the same month last year. Five people were killed during February compared with 12 that month in 2011.

A campaign aimed at educating labourers on the dangers of jaywalking is credited as part of the reason for the fall.

In January, Dubai Police identified jaywalking as their biggest challenge for the year ahead. In 2011, pedestrian deaths accounted for a third of all road fatalities in the emirate. Last year, pedestrian deaths increased from 43 to 46, despite road deaths dropping by more than 12 per cent from 2010. No figures were available for how many deaths this year were pedestrians.

Clampdowns on dangerous drivers were also praised for the drop. "Catching reckless drivers who speed and those who drive aggressively has also helped," said Maj Gen Al Zaffin.

He added that a committee of traffic officers has been formed to analyse the timings of, and reasons behind, fatal crashes.

"We are working towards reaching our goal of reducing road fatalities to zero by 2020," said Maj Gen Al Zaffin.

wissa@thenational.ae