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.
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.
"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.
"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.