x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Pedestrian injuries up, fatalities down

The number of pedestrian deaths in Dubai fell, while the number of accidents involving pedestrians rose.

The number of pedestrian deaths in Dubai fell by 14 per cent last year, while the number of accidents involving pedestrians rose by almost the same percentage, officials said. The Dubai Police Traffic Department said 106 pedestrians died in traffic-related incidents last year, compared with 123 in 2007. However, the number of traffic accidents resulting in severe injuries to pedestrians increased from 665 to 754 over the same period.

Gen Mohammed al Rafeen, director of the general traffic department, said in a statement that raising awareness of the causes of accidents and the responsibilities of drivers and pedestrians alike had been a priority of the department. Labourers and construction workers had been a particular concern of the safety campaign, which had reached more than 200,000 workers in 100 companies with presentations and leaflets.

"We outlined the dangers on crossing the road from illegal crossing points instead of using designated pedestrian crossings," he said. He added that the next phase of the awareness campaign would target 365 more companies. Gen al Rafeen also highlighted the importance of the role of company drivers. "Those driving the buses that transport workers also hold a great responsibility towards the safety of their passengers," he said.

"There are designated areas for buses to load and unload passengers, and the drivers have to abide by these rules in order to maintain safety." He added that the law clearly stated that pedestrians are not allowed to cross streets where the speed limit exceeded 80kph, and transgressors could be fined up to Dh200 (US$54). hkhalaf@thenational.ae