x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Traffic fatalities are 'unacceptable' cost to country

One in 12 people involved in serious car accidents in Dubai died as a result, the emirate's safety and public health department said.

DUBAI // One in 12 people involved in serious car accidents in Dubai in 2008 died as a result, a loss to the emirate both economically and in human terms, the head of the Dubai Health Authority's safety and public health department said. There were 294 deaths caused by road traffic accidents in Dubai in 2008, a death rate among those involved in crashes of 8.5 per cen. The numbers constituted an unacceptable toll, said Dr Ali al Marzouqi.

"This is a huge loss to the country and to the economy, with the majority of fatalities being young people who can no longer contribute to the workforce, and it is a huge burden on the healthcare industry," he said. Compounding the problem was an influx of inexperienced drivers. In 2008, almost 159,000 new driving licences were issued in Dubai. Sheikh Zayed Road and Emirates Road were identified as the most dangerous thoroughfares in Dubai in terms of numbers of accidents.

More than 1.2 million global deaths a year are attributed to road traffic accidents, with as many as 50 million non-fatal injuries, the World Health Organisation has said. @Email:hkhalaf@thenational.ae