x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Traffic police report 10% fall in road deaths

Collisions down more than 6% in two years, and accidents involving pedestrians in UAE fall by more than 16%.

ABU DHABI // Road deaths have fallen more than 10 per cent in the past two years, federal traffic police said yesterday. Brig Gen Ghaith al Zaabi, the head of the federal traffic department, said the decline was due in part to a federal traffic law including a black points system and tougher fines for motorists which was enforced in March 2008. The department did not release the actual number of fatalities over the two-year period.

Accidents involving pedestrians dropped 16.8 per cent, vehicle collisions were down 6.4 per cent and vehicle rollovers declined by 3.6 per cent, Gen al Zaabi said. "The law is a good step forward in the ministry's efforts to standardise procedures, violations and penalties," WAM, the state news agency, reported Gen al Zaabi as saying. The black points system gives penalty points for offences for which previously motorists only paid fines. In some cases, fines have increased.

Four major offences are each worth 24 points, the maximum number of points allowed in a year before a driving licence is confiscated. Those offences are: driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; failing to stop after an accident in which someone has been injured; driving a vehicle without number plates and, for lorry drivers, overtaking dangerously. In each case the vehicle is confiscated for 60 days.

This week is GCC Traffic Week, with the slogan "Beware of Other People's Mistakes". UAE police are marking the occasion with theatre performances, cash prizes and lectures to educate motorists and children about road safety. @Email:mchung@thenational.ae