Dubai: Heavy vehicles, buses, mini buses and all other means of mass transport will be the target of the ‘Speed Kills’ two-week traffic awareness campaign launched yesterday (Tuesday).
Dubai Police Chief Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim said yesterday during the launch of the campaign at the Police Officers club in Dubai that the cost of treating the injured in traffic accidents exceeded Dh4 billion last year.
“Traffic accidents not only lead to deaths of human being but it also affects any society’s resources, and each and every one in society and in the community should work hand in hand to reduce the number of traffic fatalities,” said Lt Gen Dahi.
The Dubai Police General Headquarters launched a two-week traffic awareness campaign, “Speed Kills”, targeting vehicles being driven at high speed. The campaign aims at reducing deaths in traffic accidents.
Lt Gen Dahi said that the campaign is in line with the 10-year traffic plan announced in 2007 and designed to reach a zero per cent death rate for every 100,000 of Dubai’s population which, according to the statistics centre, is around 1.8 million, and the number is expected to reach 4 million in 2020.
“In 2007, police first launched the speed kills campaign. Then, the number was six or seven per every 200 of the population and today the number is three,” he said.
“I hope that Dubai Police can achieve its new strategy as it has succeeded in the past three years in reducing the 25 traffic deaths per year, which I considered a strong indicator [of the ability] to achieve zero deaths per 100,000 residents by 2019,” said the police chief.
“We cannot stop traffic fatalities completely but we can reduce this and we need the cooperation of all kinds of media to spread awareness among the public about the danger of speeding,” he said.
He added that even if police worked on monitoring roads to prevent traffic accidents sometimes traffic fatalities happen unexpectedly.
“This year we were shocked when heavy vehicles caused traffic accidents killing many people as what happened in Al Ain when more than 25 workers died in a bus crash,” he said.
Lt Gen Dahi urged police to keep an eye this year on heavy vehicles, buses, minis buses and all other means of mass transport.
“Heavy vehicles, buses and other means of mass transport will be our target this year. We have to keep an eye on drivers who transport workers and the public,” he said.
Lt Gen Dahi said that a number of senior officers from Dubai Police pledged to work day and night in order to preserve lives, ensure traffic safety and achieve the goals of the new traffic plan of Dubai Police.
He pointed out that no country in the world had achieved this target and called for increasing efforts in order to keep Dubai’s roads 100 per cent safe.
He said police recently introduced different kinds of sports cars to their patrol fleet in order to show that such cars can be used for traffic safety and to raise the awareness of the young generation on how to use such sports car safely.
The campaign aims at spreading traffic awareness and the danger of speeding, to reduce the number of deaths by 10-25 per cent this year.
The campaign also aims at protecting lives and properties, reducing severe injures by 15 per cent.
Lt Gen Dahi said that according to security studies, the rate of people killed in traffic accidents all over the world is more than the number killed for any other reason including fires, natural disasters, aeroplanes, poisonous insect bites and others.
He said last year 123 people died in traffic accidents in Dubai and 171 were severely injured. These injuries and deaths cost Dh4.64 billion in one year.
He said attention must be focused while driving as there are reckless drivers everywhere and one must be alert and careful.
The average age of those involved in accidents that caused traffic fatalities is 28.
He said that Indians topped the list of those causing traffic fatalities followed by Pakistanis, Emiratis and Egyptians.
Emirates Road topped the list of dangerous roads wih a high rate of traffic fatalities, followed by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, Shaikh Zayed Road and Jebel Ali Road.
The highest number of deaths happened during the weekend on Friday and Saturday.
He said there is a need for media outlets to stand by police in raising awareness that speed kills.
He said as part of the campaign there will be police patrols in different parts of Dubai.
“I will be present with police patrols to monitor the roads,” said Lt Gen Dahi.