x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

UAE roads twice as safe as US as death and injury numbers fall

Take our poll: The latest statistics show the UAE's roads to be among the safest in the world, now comparable with most western European countries.

There were 6.53 road deaths per 100,000 people last year – a rate comparable with western Europe.
There were 6.53 road deaths per 100,000 people last year – a rate comparable with western Europe.

ABU DHABI // The number of traffic accidents, deaths and injuries on the roads dropped again last year.

There were 6.53 road deaths per 100,000 people last year, a rate comparable with most western European countries and about half that of the United States. The total number of accidents fell from 6,700 in 2011 to 6,454 last year; deaths from 720 to 628 and injuries from 7,808 to 7,586.

The Ministry of Interior and the police are aiming for 5.5 road deaths per 100,000 people, said Brig Gen Ghaith Al Zaabi, director of the Traffic Coordination Department at the ministry.

He attributed the improvement in traffic safety to the directives and follow-up by the police.

In line with Gulf Traffic Week's theme, Our Goal is Your Safety, the ministry has been working hard to improve traffic safety by coordinating with all the concerned authorities, Brig Al Zaabi said.

Its strategy is based on several themes - awareness, promoting a culture of traffic safety, engineering and road safety, updating legislation, and raising the level of medical services and first aid.

This year's Gulf Traffic Week's theme focuses on increasing traffic awareness among all community members and uniting all efforts to reduce crashes.

The ministry's main goal is to provide safety and security through the protection of life and property for all road users, Brig Al Zaabi said.

Screenings of documentary films and activities highlighting the strategic plans and the implementation of mechanisms to enhance traffic safety in Abu Dhabi are some of the initiatives during the event, which begins today.

Brig Gen Hussein Ahmed Al Harthi, head of the Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police, said the activities would focus on involving the community in assuming responsibility for road safety, enhanced safety standards in schools, and raising awareness among students and workers.

rruiz@thenational.ae