Sharjah: Pakistanis and Indians topped the list of fatalities caused by traffic accidents in Sharjah in 2016, police said on Wednesday.

Last year, a total of 32 Pakistanis died in road accidents followed by 30 Indians, 23 Emiratis, 13 Bangladeshis and three Filipinos, an official said on Wednesday.

Also, a total of 45 Pakistanis died and 33 others were injured in run-over accidents. Besides, 29 Indians and nine Bangladeshis died in run-over accidents. All victims were pedestrians trying to cross roads from undesignated areas, police said.

Sharjah Traffic and Patrol Department on Wednesday launched a safety awareness campaign targeting Asian nationalities to reduce fatalities and serious injuries caused by accidents.

The campaign will use Asian media to spread the message of traffic safety.

Lieutenant-Colonel Dr Ahmad Saeed Al Naour, acting director of the Traffic and Patrol Department, said the aim of the campaign is to reduce the high death rate among Asians, including Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis and Filipinos, in accidents.

The police blamed a lack of awareness among these communities. “It is our responsibility to spread awareness among them and educate them about the safety rules,” Lt-Col Al Naour said. The statistics show that human error is the primary cause of 85 per cent of accidents, he said.

The top reasons for fatal accidents are speeding, sudden diversion, not paying attention, entering a road without making sure it is clear, driving in opposite direction, jumping red signal, improper changing of lanes, failing to leave enough space and reckless driving.

He said speeding and reckless driving increase the rate of fatalities by 90 per cent.

Offenders in these categories face a fine of Dh2,000 and 12 black points in addition to impoundment of their vehicles for 30 days.

Motorists must follow the speed limit, drive patiently and be courteous to avoid accidents and tough penalties, Lt-Col Al Naour said.

He said jumping the red signal is a major cause of accidents leading to fatalities and serious injuries.

Recent statistics show that many jump the red signal because they do not slow down when they see the yellow light. The penalties for jumping the red signal are Dh800 fine and eight black points, in addition to impoundment of the vehicle for 15 days.