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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

100 die on Dubai's roads in nine months this year

Figure is down from 148 in same period last year, Dubai traffic police say

Residents of thirteen countries can now swap their drivers licences to a UAE one. Pawan Singh / The National
Residents of thirteen countries can now swap their drivers licences to a UAE one. Pawan Singh / The National

One hundred people were killed in road incidents in Dubai in the past nine months, with misjudgement by drivers and failing to leave a safe distance between vehicles the leading causes of death.

Despite the large number of road deaths, Dubai traffic police said that it was actually a decrease on the same period last year, when 148 people died.

The updated federal traffic law, which imposes stricter fines on offenders, increasing awareness of traffic rules and a greater police presence on motorways have all played a part in reducing road deaths, said Col Jamal Al Banai, deputy director of the traffic police.

“Many motorists started calling the department asking for details about the child seats and other traffic rules. Asking about traffic rules indicates that they are becoming more aware about traffic safety and that they do not want to get fined,” said Col Al Banai.

Twenty-six of the fatalities and 239 injuries were caused by driver misjudgement, while 25 deaths and 350 injuries were caused by failing to leave a safe distance between vehicles.

Twelve deaths were caused by sudden swerving, eight by tyre blowouts, six by speeding and five by entering a road without ensuring it’s clear.

Accidents caused by misjudgement dropped slightly from 235 in the first nine months of last year to 223 in the same period this year but crashes caused by failing to leave a safe distance between vehicles increased from 425 last year to 446 this year. Smashes caused by entering the road without ensuring it’s clear dropped from 147 last year to 136 this year.

Read more: Speed limit reduced on E311 and E611 in Dubai

The figures were revealed by Dubai traffic police on Wednesday.

Other causes of road deaths included driving the wrong way on a road (4), stopping in the middle of the road (3) and reversing without checking if the road is clear (2).

There were also 27 deaths and 239 injuries so far this year caused by 248 run-over accidents, down from 40 deaths and 246 injuries last year.

“A total of 54,257 pedestrians were fined for crossing from undesignated areas,” said Brig Saif Muhair Al Mazrouie, director of Dubai traffic police.

“Safety campaigns have increased on roads that witnessed most run-over accidents. More police patrols were monitoring those roads, as well.

“Traffic police officers are being very strict with pedestrians who cross from undesignated areas and drivers who do not give way to pedestrian crossings.”

Fines for pedestrians for crossing at the wrong places are steep, at Dh400, but police plan to run more safe-crossing campaigns to ensure people are aware of the dangers.

Col Al Banai spoke about the anticipated impact of reducing the speed limit to 110kph from 120kph on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road, a move that comes into force on October 15.

“Scrapping the existing 20kph buffer afforded to speeding drivers reduces the impact of accidents on motorists and passengers, meaning when two motorists driving up to 120kph and get into an accident, the reduced speed will have an impact on the motorists and passengers’ injuries,” he said.

The move to slow down drivers on the two roads in Dubai follows a public consultation and aims to reduce accidents on two of the most dangerous roads in the emirate.