Abu Dhabi: "Over 1.5 million deaths and 50 million injuries are reported worldwide yearly due to road accidents, costing about $520 billion (Dh1.90 trillion) in damages," said Atif Labib, traffic safety expert at an awareness campaign carried out by the Ministry of Interior last week.
"Safety is a social responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. All road users are accountable, and both drivers and pedestrians must follow traffic and safety laws," Labib said, adding that driving is an important responsibility and being allowed to do so is for the benefit of all members of the society.
A senior police official said the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Interior and police to reduce accidents are paying off.
"Police remain committed to further reduce accidents and injuries on Abu Dhabi roads," Brigadier Hussain Al Harthi, Director of Abu Dhabi Traffic and Patrol Department, told Gulf News. "If we look at road behaviour as an evolving process we can say with confidence things are steadily improving. Statistics highlight a decrease in fatalities due to road accidents, but we want to bring it to lower levels."
"The main part of the efforts includes awareness and education campaigns, aimed especially at people between the ages of 18 and 44. This segment of the population unfortunately suffers the highest rate of fatalities," Brigadier Al Harthi said.
He said police cannot be in so many places at one time and it is necessary for all drivers to understand the consequences of violating traffic laws.
Police continue to work on strategies that increase safety standards and reduce accidents.
In addition to awareness campaigns, a plan is in place to better understand causes of accidents and how to avoid them. Brigadier Al Harthi said the strategy has five key components, including analysis to determine the areas where most violations occurs and then increase patrol in those areas to deter violators.
- 1,056: deaths in road crashes in the UAE in 2007
- 1,072: deaths in 2008
- 963: deaths in2009
- 826: deaths in2010