Sharjah Police traffic-1610088875318
A traffic police patrol in Sharjah. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Sharjah registered 87 run-over accidents in 2021, compared to 113 such accidents during 2020, said Captain Khalifa Saleh Bu Kafel, the Director of the Traffic Statistics Branch and Deputy Director of Sharjah Police Traffic and Patrols Department.

The number of run-over accidents constituted 20 per cent of total traffic accidents in the emirate in 2021. The decline in road accidents was a result of the efforts of the Traffic Department of Sharjah Police and their stakeholders in raising awareness among road users and ensuring greater safety measures.

Abiding by traffic regulations

Captain Bu Kafel stressed that traffic safety was a shared responsibility and must be handled by all members of the community in order to limit human, financial and material loss. He also urged motorists and pedestrians to abide by traffic regulations for their own safety and that of other road users. He said the main causes behind run-over accidents were lack of attention while driving, speeding, crossing roads at undesignated areas and lack of awareness among the public about safety rules.

Police, under instructions from the Ministry of Interior, have launched awareness campaigns to ensure safe crossings by pedestrians. Police have intensified inspections, targeting pedestrians in residential areas as well as on vital roads with commercial establishments on either side. Police have also advised motorists to follow the law and give priority to pedestrians. Cyclists have been advised to wear fluorescent jackets and pedestrians have been urged to use manual traffic signal buttons at designated traffic signals before crossing roads.

The awareness inspection campaign will continue throughout the year, the official said.

Pedestrian fencings have been erected along the stretches of most major roads in Sharjah in a bid to prevent people from crossing roads at undesignated points. In addition, traffic signals are being installed and zebra crossings marked out prominently on most roads.

Awareness campaign

Sharjah Police have also fined thousands of jaywalkers. They carried out several awareness campaigns to educate the public about the importance of crossing roads only at designated spots. Sharjah has opened four pedestrian bridges to ensure public safety. The bridges have come up on King Faisal Street, King Abdulaziz Road, Al Ittihad Road and Al Nahda Road.

Police fined 2,410 people for jaywalking in the emirate till June 2020. In 2019, a total of 21,243 jaywalkers were fined.

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What the law says

Federal Penal Code allows traffic prosecutors to hold jaywalkers — who cause accidents resulting in injuries or property damage — liable and refer them to court.

Also, Article 69 of the code imposes a fine of Dh500 and six traffic black points on motorists for not giving priority to pedestrians at designated crossings, while Article 59 imposes a Dh500 fine for parking at pedestrian crossings.