x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Road toll falls as police drive home safety message

The number of deaths on Sharjah's roads fell by more than 17 per cent last year, police figures show.

SHARJAH // The number of deaths on Sharjah's roads fell by more than 17 per cent last year, police figures show.

A report released yesterday to coincide with the end of Gulf Traffic Week showed there were 117 deaths and 953 injuries in 707 crashes last year, compared with 142 deaths and 1,081 injuries in 802 crashes in 2010.

Police credited awareness campaigns such as traffic week for the drop, but cautioned there are still significant areas of concern - chief among them the large number of young Emirati male drivers who lose their lives.

Of the 117 deaths, 33 were of Emiratis - down from 58 in 2010, but still more than any other nationality.

Pakistanis were next highest represented with 26 deaths, and Indians third with 25.

People aged between 18 and 30 accounted for nearly half of the deaths, while males were involved in almost 80 per cent of the total crashes.

Maj Gen Humaid Mohammed Al Hudaidi, the director general of Sharjah Police, said speeding was the main cause of the accidents, especially those in which young Emirati males were involved.

Gen Al Hudaidi said police would target young men with a message of restraint and urge them to observe speed limits on major highways and internal roads.

"Our target is to have zero deaths on roads," he said. "Until we achieve this we shall continue conducting these traffic awareness campaigns."

The police figures showed people aged between 18 and 30 accounted for 55 of the deaths; with 31 aged between 31 and 45; and 16 aged between 45 and 60.

Those aged over 60 accounted for eight of the fatalities, while there were seven deaths of people aged under 18, who did not possess a driving licence.

Of those injured, 438 were drivers, 223 passengers and the rest were pedestrians.

Police said use of phones while driving and carelessness in changing lanes were also major problems.

ykakande@thenational.ae