x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Stay in your lane, Dubai police urge motorists

Sudden swerving is the leading cause of accidents in Dubai, prompting police to focus on the bad practice.

Traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. Police urge motorists to stick to their lanes as swerving was found to have resulted in 20 fatalities in the first quarter of this year.
Traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. Police urge motorists to stick to their lanes as swerving was found to have resulted in 20 fatalities in the first quarter of this year.

DUBAI // Police have launched a month-long campaign against sudden swerving, the leading cause of all accidents in the emirate.

“When it comes to motorways our main problem is swerve-related accidents,” said Maj Gen Mohammed Saif Al Zaffin, head of the Dubai Police traffic department, who spoke at the campaign launch yesterday.

Swerving was found to have resulted in 20 fatalities in the first quarter of this year, just one less than the total number of deaths caused by swerving in the whole of last year.

There has also been a jump in the number of accidents, from 130 in the first quarter of last year to 239 in the first three months of this year.

If the incident rate continues along the same pattern, swerving will account for 956 accidents and 80 fatalities by the end of the year – nearly double the total number of accidents and quadruple the number of fatalities recorded last year.

Dubai police statistics showed Emirati and Pakistani men were behind most of the accidents.

Last year, Emiratis topped the list of swerve-related incidents, causing 64 accidents and seven deaths. Pakistani nationals placed second, causing 53 accidents and three deaths.

Sheikh Zayed Road was the most dangerous road, recording three of the fatalities mentioned by Dubai Police. Fifty accidents occurred on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road.

“Sudden swerve is particularly dangerous on highways because responding on high-speed motorways is more difficult,” Gen Al Zaffin said.

The campaign aims to raise awareness through lectures, social media, television and radio. Police patrols will also distribute brochures to drivers throughout the emirate.

Instructions include checking mirrors, checking your blind spot by looking over your shoulder, steering gradually into another lane and gently increasing speed.

Gen Al Zaffin added that turn signals were essential and lowered the risk of accidents occurring.

“The campaign will urge motorists to use their turn signal every time they need to change lanes or make a turn, especially taxis,” he said.

Dubai Police hope the campaign will put a stop to the increase in sudden-swerve accidents through education and awareness.

“Parents’ involvement in cases like these would be helpful and education at home is still lacking,” Gen Al Zaffin said.

“Police patrols, social media, public broadcasts, TV and the media are important ways to get the message across, but the most important and effective is the home.”

The campaign runs until June 20.

tsubaihi@thenational.ae