x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Commuters blamed for road deaths

Twenty four people died and 33 were injured while commuting into Abu Dhabi city during the first half of the year, police have revealed.

Wreckage on the road from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.
Wreckage on the road from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI // Heavy traffic caused by motorists commuting to Abu Dhabi is to blame for 24 deaths and 33 serious injuries in the first half of this year, according to police.

Commuters driving to the city from Al Ain, Dubai and Sila caused 157 accidents, mostly during the early morning and afternoon rush hours, said Col Khamaid Ishaq Mohammed, deputy director of Abu Dhabi traffic police.

Many were speeding "to reach work on time", he said, and in so doing were tempted to drive recklessly, run red lights and break other traffic rules. Accidents ranged from hitting pedestrians to collisions with other vehicles, and drivers losing control of their vehicles.

According to police the most common causes of the accidents were: sudden lane changing, speeding, drivers not leaving enough distance between vehicles, driving under pressure and tension, and a lack of patience.

Col Mohammed urged people living outside of Abu Dhabi to find accommodation nearer to work to avoid the "hardship" of commuting, and the long hours spent behind the steering wheel.

He said those who could not move should leave home earlier to avoid the temptation to speed.

People working for the Abu Dhabi government but living in other emirates have been asked to relocate to Abu Dhabi in an effort to ensure safety on the roads. Workers who fail to relocate would lose their housing allowances, according to a government decree that comes into force this month.

Brig Gen Hussain Al Harethi, head of Abu Dhabi traffic police, said he expected the decree to bring down the number of accidents and ease congestion.

Col Mohammed urged company drivers transporting workers to abide by traffic rules.

Recently, Abu Dhabi traffic police launched a campaign targeting the top causes of road accidents - running red lights; speeding; not leaving distance between vehicles; swerving out of lanes; and drivers failing to consider other road users.

Lt Col Ahmed Al Zayoudi at Abu Dhabi traffic police said such behaviour caused 448 out of 2,057 road accidents this year. The campaign also targets lorry drivers, who caused 11 per cent of road accidents last year.