Dubai: Dubai registered a 48 per cent decline in jaywalker deaths this year, an officer said on Wednesday.
A total of 27 jaywalkers died and 239 others were injured in 248 run-over accidents in Dubai in the nine months of this year compared to 40 deaths and 246 injuries in 276 incidents last year.
For people, jaywalking may appear to be a harmless way to save time, but Dubai Police are warning residents that they are taking their lives into their hands whenever they do not cross from designated areas.
Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, director of the police’s Traffic Department, said they have been conducting awareness campaigns to warn people against jaywalking and have issued 54,257 fines this year.
“We focus on the roads that have witnessed many run-over accidents and deploy patrols on those roads. We won’t go easy on jaywalkers and also on drivers who don’t give priority to pedestrians to cross the roads,” Brigadier Al Mazroui said.
He warned that they will conduct more campaigns in the coming months to crack down on those crossing roads from non-designated spots and fine them.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant-Colonel Jamal Al Bannai, deputy director of the Traffic Department, said many jaywalkers don’t think it is a serious offence and a risky way to cross a street.
“Once I was in Al Nahda area when I spotted an Asian man crossing under the metro bridge. He didn’t use the bridge to cross the road. When I stopped him and asked him why he did that, he didn’t answer and smiled. They don’t know it is dangerous despite our campaigns to raise awareness,” Lt-Col Al Bannai said.
The fine for jaywalking has been increased in the new traffic law to Dh400 from Dh200 earlier.
“Despite the harsher penalty, we still see people crossing even highways,” he added.
At the same time, Dubai Police said the new law has helped reduce the total number of deaths in accidents by 33 per cent this year.
“In the first nine months of this year, 100 people died in 2,082 traffic accidents as compared to 148 deaths in 2,235 incidents in the same period last year. The decline happened because of many factors like implementing the new traffic law from July 1, more patrols and radars on roads, and increasing awareness,” Lt-Col Al Bannai said.