x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Traffic accidents drop across UAE

The number of fatalities has decreased from 11 people per 100,000 to 7.2, official says.

DUBAI // Traffic accidents have declined by 18.6 per cent across the Emirates because of new traffic laws and new technologies, a senior traffic police official said yesterday.

Major Gen Mohammed Saif al Zafien, director of the Dubai police general traffic department, said a sharp drop in traffic accidents was also due to more aggressive law enforcement to combat violators.

The accident rate in Abu Dhabi has dropped by 17.8 per cent, while Dubai had a 25.6 per cent drop in accidents. Ras al Khaimah registered the steepest drop of 31.2 per cent. Sharjah's accident rate fell by 20.8 per cent.

Emirates that have fewer highways have recorded the best decline rates, Gen al Zafien said.

"Highways contribute to 40 percent of all the deaths on the road," he said.

This year's statistics have also shown that the number of fatalities nationwide per 100,000 has gone down from 11 to 7.2 persons.

"Our goal was to reach less than eight per 100,000 by the end of 2011 but we have surpassed that," he said.

On Dubai roads, 135 fatalities have been recorded so far in 2010. A 28 per cent drop in traffic injuries was also recorded.

In 2009, there were 2,403 injuries. So far in 2010, 1,728 injuries have been registered, including 142 that were serious.

New technologies such as radar guns and mobile radar devices have been dispersed all over the city. The 14 radar guns used in Dubai have registered 210,540 violations since January.

The emirate also has 32 fixed radar units and 39 mobile radar units that have been introduced since 2008. They have collectively registered over 1.98 million violations so far this year, in comparison to 2.04 million violations in 2009.

Intensified law enforcement procedures have been reflected in the whopping 475 per cent increase in mobile phone violations that have been recorded this year in Dubai, Gen al Zafien said.

Registered seat belt violations have also increased by 127 per cent, and jaywalking violations registered a 64 per cent increase in Dubai.

"Enforcement has also reflected on the increase in the number of alcohol-related arrests and the reduction of alcohol-related deaths," said Gen al Zafien. "152 drink drivers were arrested since January."

Thirteen drunk-driving deaths were registered in the first 10 months of 2009, while only three have been registered so far in 2010.

The number of deaths caused by speeding also dropped from 54 last year to 49 so far this year. Red light crossing deaths dropped from nine to five, while 34 run-over deaths were registered in 2010.

"The deadliest month of the year was February, where 30 deaths were registered, followed by October with 11," he said. "However, the number of deaths per month has significantly dropped in comparison to the same period last year".

A breakdown of the most dangerous drivers per nationality was also released. Indian nationals were the most dangerous, killing 37 people. They were followed by Emiratis, who caused 24 traffic deaths, Pakistani nationals, who caused 21, Syrian nationals, who caused 10, and Egyptians, who caused seven deaths on Dubai roads so far this year.

Dubai's deadliest road in 2010 is the Emirates Road, which has recorded 22 deaths so far, in comparison to 21 last year. Sheikh Zayed Road followed with 14, compared with 11 in 2009. Al Khail Road had five, compared to seven last year.

Gen al Zafien also announced that Dubai would launch a new road awareness campaign in February.