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Dubai campaign to raise awareness of road safety

The World Health Organisation states that nearly 3,500 people per day die because of road incidents

Gulf News

Dubai: Authorities on Tuesday teamed up to launch a long term campaign to raise awareness on road safety as the majority of accidents are caused by people under the age of 30.

In 2012, Dubai Corporate for Ambulance Services (DCAS) received 20,000 trauma patients who were below 30 years old.

“We are sure that this awareness campaign will reduce fatalities and the number of patients that we received,” said Dr Omar Al Sakkaf, head of training department at DCAS.

The campaign was launched by DCAS, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Road and Transport Authority, in partnership with the Mobile Healthcare unit of DM Healthcare.

“By cooperating with the private sector and other health care facilities, we are raising road safety awareness among the community and increasing the availability of ambulances to save a life in real time,” said Dr Al Sakkaf, who pointed out that the number of callers increased from 88,000 in 2011 to 105,645 in 2012.

“Motorists should always wear a seatbelt, avoid speeding, never drive under the influence of alcohol and not text or talk on their mobile phones,” said Dr Azad Moopen, chairman of DM Healthcare.

He stressed that passengers should also remember to buckle up as they have the misconception that seatbelts only protect those sitting in the front seat, and that parents have to restrain their children in the back seat.

“Talking on speaker phone is also not recommended because it is a distraction, and motorists have to learn on what safety measures to take on the road. Within a year, we plan to [spread awareness] in other emirates and later on, around the Gulf,” he said.

Last year, hospitals under DHA received 70,000 road related accidents, according to Dr Haan Obaid, head of community health services programmes section at DHA.

“Motorists should also know how to respond in emergencies and remember that the first thing to do is call police for help. Then, they should carry out the basic life support techniques, and if the victim is in a dangerous place, they should be removed,” she added.