UAE | Government

Call for stringent steps to curb road crashes in UAE

Country lost Dh10b in traffic accidents in 2010

  • By Shehab Al Makahleh, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 November 23, 2011
  • Gulf News

Charred vehicles from an accident in Dubai
  • Image Credit: Supplied photo
  • An accident caused by fog on Dubai Bypass Road earlier. Application of the Intelligent Traffic Systems will help bring down road accidents by 30-40 per cent yearly.

Abu Dhabi: More stringent and innovative measures have been suggested to make UAE roads safe as the country lost around Dh10 billion due to traffic accidents in 2010r.

"We had about 10,000 road accidents in 2010 and the losses are immense," said Karim Rizkallah, managing director of TransCore in the Mena region at the Intelligent Traffic Systems Middle East Conference at Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Click here to learn more about Make It Safe campaign

About 150 participants from the UAE, the GCC, Europe, US and India are taking part in the conference which was held under the patronage of Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

Costs

"The number of accidents in the UAE is more than that in the US and UK," said Rizkallah, adding that the cost of car accidents was estimated at Dh10 billion in 2010 in UAE. Government transport authorities across the Middle East region are focussed on implementing sophisticated Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) in order to provide safe, efficient and sustainable transport networks.

Brigadier Hussain Al Harthei, Director of Traffic and Patrol Directorate and Head of Ministry of Interior's Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) Committee at Abu Dhabi Police, said that the UAE is effectively integrating ITS with infrastructure networks to meet international standards of road safety.

Speaking at conference, Al Harethi added that ITS aims to provide safe, efficient and sustainable transport networks.

"Abu Dhabi has devised a phased five-year plan that aims to achieve a world-class transportation system for the capital by strategically integrating a unique ITS strategy with existing infrastructure networks," he pointed out.

Infrastructure

"The ITS helps to develop safe and efficient road networks by understanding how the transportation and infrastructure master plan is integrated with ITS components," said Al Harethi.

He added that the application of ITS would reduce road accidents by 30-40 per cent yearly.

Rizkallah told Gulf News that such conferences help share views and opinions about traffic problems and exchange experiences to help solve congestion issues through ITS solutions.

Advice for motorists

Police urge motorists to abide by rules. Sharjah traffic officials, who have started their preparation for the UAE National Day, are creating an awareness drive among motorists on safety regulations in the run up to the celebrations. An official at Sharjah Police emphasised that motorists are required to adhere to safety traffic rules and regulations as set by the Ministry of Interior.

"People who are celebrating should not colour their side windows with the country's flag, are not allowed to place stickers on the front side of the car, or to put up posters. If they want to decorate their vehicles than they are allowed only to write patriotic phrases or poetry in a way that do not obstruct the driver's vision," said the official.

Comments (11)

  1. Added 14:19 November 23, 2011

    I think one of the contributing factors is lack of respect for authority and that is supposed to be taught at home when a child is growing up. If you don't have respect for yourself how can you respect anybody or anything else in life.

    Michelle, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 14:09 November 23, 2011

    I have lived and worked in the UAE and one way of improving road safety is to ensure that all drivers undertake a Defensive Driving Training Course. I conducted this type of training for a number of companies who wanted their employees to drive safely. Defensive driving makes you aware of what is happening around you and ensures that you are positioned correctly on the road. It also makes you more courteous to other drivers and helps you to obey the traffic rules. Driving can be a dangerous activity at any time even though the UAE has some of the best trunk roads and vigilant police the onus must be on the driver to be aware of all the rules and to drive defensively. A defensive driver will return to his family less stressed and without incident.

    Leon Crossan, Lukavac, Bosnia And Herzegowina

  3. Added 12:43 November 23, 2011

    II would like to add a few more comments regarding driving in this country. I am here 5 years, and would like to point out the following: [1]Besides the speed maybe even more problematic is keeping of the safe distance. I am driving daily between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and this road in rush hours resembles on Nascar race. [2] Another problem which should be mention is completely opposite-Slow driving in fast lanes causing breaking of the steady traffic flow, which further frustrate already nervous and overstressed drivers after long working hours. 3] Generally Roads are overcrowded. 4] UAE police is doing a great job, but I personally think that penalty system is way too lenient.[50% discount] For dangerous driving fines should be increased tenfold, including a court cases, to the extended of the imposing temporary and even permanent ban on driving.

    Goran, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:01 November 23, 2011

    No I don’t think we have made enough efforts on campaign on safe driving. On radio as well there is no ad of safe driving which there should be & more. On TV only one ad is there about safe driving compare then last years. We have to keep addressing driver to drive safe. Especially those drivers who think that they are the best & do not obey the rules. Most of the time cut the lane & try to jump from different side & then insist that what they are doing is right. Most common is have to go to right side but drive on left side fast lane then suddenly try to cross the lanes & take right turn. We do need more & more ad’s on radio about safe driving & also TV ad’s in different side of accident.

    adnan, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:50 November 23, 2011

    Aggressive driving is the root cause of all the problems. Slow down, drive courteously, stop tailgating and flashing your lights, get off the horn, get home safely to your family, let others get home safely to their famlies.

    Todd, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 11:45 November 23, 2011

    It is nevertheless that the car accidents numbers have declined and I can say that my driving style was a little bit aggressive but after receiving fines of over 4,000 dhs on 2010 and part of 2011, as a direct result this has softened if not stopped my aggressiveness and this to my surprise showed on my gas mileage and I can say that now I reach my destination more relaxed.

    Omar , Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 11:22 November 23, 2011

    Road safety is simple: Wear seat belts, Don't speed, Respect other road users, Don't darken windows, Don't use phones. Severely punish all offenders.

    Anthony, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 10:59 November 23, 2011

    Authorities cannot monitor the rash drivers all the time. These can be noted only by other drivers. As suggested by "Rio, Dubai", there should be a toll free system for people to make complaints. So that vehicle owners will get a warning notification. If authority sends at-least one sms it will make a difference. Such a system is very much important to make the roads safe. Some rash drivers especially Van drivers they drive vehicle in such an high speed even they dont have control on it.. !!!

    Haneef Puttur, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:57 November 23, 2011

    Maybe .it would help if drivers actually used the car properly ,especially indicators, after all they are there for a reason. The attitude by the UAE roads users is one with no care and attention for other road users.

    Alan , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 10:46 November 23, 2011

    Why not the fog lamps as standard equipment on the vehicles in UAE? The authority should force the manufactures in this matter. Manufactures only provide the fog lamps as standard only on their high end or premium models and still many motorists not aware about the proper use of fog lamp. More traffic patrol is essential in peak hours. The presence of police is enough to force the motorists to stay in lane.

    Nabeel, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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