x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Sharjah launches road-safety campaign

The week-long police initiative, Pedestrian Safety is our Responsibility, warns people to cross roads only at designated spots.

SHARJAH // A campaign to improve safety for pedestrians and clamp down on jaywalking has been launched in Sharjah.

The week-long police initiative, Pedestrian Safety is our Responsibility, warns people to cross roads only at designated spots.

Drivers are also being urged to slow down in residential areas.

A series of leaflets printed in English, Arabic and Urdu will be used to get the message across.

“It’s important that all road users understand the risks of violating safety, whether crossing or walking on the road, and learn how to stay safe,” said Maj Khalid Al Kay, the director of the media and awareness department at Sharjah traffic police.

“Pedestrians are the most vulnerable users of roads.”

He said police would be strict with those who breached safety rules. Drivers who fail to give way to pedestrians will be fined Dh500, and anyone caught jaywalking, especially on highways, will receive a Dh200 penalty.

Last week, a Pakistani man was killed crossing a road in Industrial Area 4, and a Sudanese woman was knocked down and seriously injured while using a crossing on Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi Road in Khor Fakkan.

Sharjah Police has yet to release figures for accidents involving pedestrians, but 107 people died and 150 were seriously injured in road accidents last year.

The initiative comes at the same time as the second UN Global Road Safety Week, organised by the World Health Organization (WHO), which kicked off yesterday (MONDAY) with events in 70 countries.

More than 270,000 pedestrians lose their lives on roads each year, the United Nations health agency said earlier this week, calling on governments to improve traffic safety.

According to WHO, pedestrian casualties account for 22 per cent of the total 1.24 million road traffic deaths.

ykakande@thenational.ae