x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Safety drive on minivans

Police are targeting the owners and drivers of small and medium-sized buses and minivans in a new safety campaign aimed at reducing the death toll from accidents.

Minivans carry many labourers to and from work.
Minivans carry many labourers to and from work.

DUBAI // Police are targeting the owners and drivers of small and medium-sized buses and minivans in a new safety campaign aimed at reducing the death toll from accidents involving the vehicles. Officers said 31 people had been killed last year and more than 100 injured, in accidents involving minivans. So far this year 10 fatalities have been reported.

The awareness campaign, one of 12 Dubai Police are launching this summer, will run until July 5 and is aimed at drivers with private companies, government institutions and contractors. Brig Mohammed Saif al Zafeen, director general of the Dubai Police Traffic Department, told a press conference yesterday that among the campaign's main targets were drivers employed by construction and transport companies.

He emphasised that the companies were also responsible for ensuring their drivers followed UAE traffic laws and did not drive dangerously. "The responsibility for the safety of passengers is on their necks, and they should ensure the safety of the vehicle," he said. Police will distribute pamphlets explaining good driving practice and offer training to current drivers if it is requested by their employers.

However, Brig al Zafeen warned, after the campaign drivers failing to adhere to the law would be prosecuted and employers held accountable. "The public administration will distribute literature on petrol stations, police stations and intersections, and will make presentations to the drivers at their companies," he added. Last month five people were killed and a dozen injured in three accidents involving minivans.

Two were killed and three seriously injured in one incident alone, when a minibus crashed into a pick-up on a service road near Jebel Ali's new airport. In another, eight workers were taken to Rashid Hospital Trauma Centre with moderate injuries after an accident on Al Khail Road. In March two people died when a bus carrying 12 passengers veered off the road behind Dubai Academic City and overturned, and in February three people were killed and more than 10 were injured in a collision involving a minivan on the Al Ain Road.

According to Dubai Police, in most cases the minivan driver was at fault. shafez@thenational.ae