x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Road victim's brother hails closures of U-turns after campaign

Mohd Shahnawaz presented a petition containing more than 250 signatures to close the U-turns on the road on which his sister, Suraiyah Akhter, 22, died last year.

A driver does a U-turn into fast traffic on the road on which Mohd Shahnawaz's sister, Suraiyah Akhter, died in a crash.
A driver does a U-turn into fast traffic on the road on which Mohd Shahnawaz's sister, Suraiyah Akhter, died in a crash.

RAS AL KHAIMAH // A series of U-turns on RAK's second most dangerous road will be closed and replaced with a single intersection, traffic police said yesterday. The announcement was made after Mohd Shahnawaz, 25, presented a petition containing more than 250 signatures to close the U-turns on the road on which his sister, Suraiyah Akhter, 22, died last year. The road, which connects Ras al Khaimah city to Emirates Road and the Ittihad Highway, has six U-turns in a 4km segment.

It had the second-highest number of accidents resulting in death or injury in 2008, according to RAK Traffic Police. Col Nasser Muradad, the director of the RAK Traffic and Licensing Department, said: "We studied this road already. We want to close all the U-turns and make traffic lights near the Traffic Police station. I can help you and do what you want," he told Mr Shahnawaz. "We need safety for our roads."

The Department of Public Works said the new traffic system could be ready within months, news that was very satisfying to Mr Shahnawaz. "I feel elated that the first step has been taken," he said. "I feel they're really motivated and taking the initiative." Traffic research companies in the UAE will be invited to RAK to collect information for the police. Mr Shahnawaz plans to start a foundation in his sister's name that will raise road safety awareness. Safer roads were just one part of the solution, he said.

"What I'm trying to achieve is awareness targeting specific demographic groups in the UAE," he said. "We need people to listen and change attitudes. We need a message and not just fines, so people think about it and are much more likely to drive safely." @Email:azacharias@thenational.ae