Maj-Gen Mohammad Saif Al Zafein (left) detailing Dubai Police’s traffic arrangements for Ramadan. Image Credit: Dubai Police

Dubai: Police are stepping up patrols on key roads across the UAE to reduce accidents and ensure smooth traffic flow during Ramadan.

As the traffic jams are usually seen during Ramadan as people rush home for iftar, police have put a comprehensive road safety plan in place besides the deployment of patrols.

Dubai Police said that majority of traffic accidents in Ramadan happen close to iftar, police said on Wednesday.

Major-General Mohammad Saif Al Zafein, Head of the Federal Traffic Council and Assistant to the Dubai Police Chief for Operations Affairs, urged motorists to slow down and be extra careful when driving especially in the lead-up to iftar.

“Many drivers speed to catch iftar time or return home after work. Speeding and not paying attention to the road is dangerous behaviour. People who feel hungry because of fasting or smokers who don’t smoke during fasting can be more nervous while driving and that makes them commit mistakes and cause accidents,” Major General Al Zafein said during a press conference to launch a Ramadan traffic safety campaign by Dubai Police in coordination with the Roads and Transport Authority.

Police revealed that six people were killed in traffic accidents during Ramadan 2017 including three killed in run-over accidents compare to 22 killed in Ramadan 2016.

Last year, one person was killed in the time between 6am to 12pm, while three were killed between 12pm to 10pm and two others killed between 10pm and 6am. Sudden swerving and using the phone while driving or being distracted in other ways are factors behind deadly accidents.

Police will deploy more patrols around mosques and malls to organise traffic and will also focus on industrial areas like Al Quoz as workers go out in large numbers before and after iftar for praying.

Brigadier Abdullah Mubarak Bin Amer, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Sharjah Police, reviewed traffic plans as well as a security plan.

Police patrols will be deployed around the key mosques to regulate traffic movement during Taraweeh prayer.

“To ensure all roads are safe, we will intensify our patrols on highways, intersections, roundabouts, shopping areas and crowded areas in all parts of Sharjah city to maintain safety and security,” he said.

The traffic patrols will also contribute in facilitating the traffic movement to markets, centres and commercial complexes while working hard to prevent congestion and traffic jams that are mainly caused due to parking in unauthorised areas. We will also regulate entry and exit to and from mosque parking lots during prayer times. Our main objective is the reduction of all negative phenomenon and the negative behaviour of some motorists who cause traffic delays to other road users.”

Police urged all motorists and members of the public to abide by the specified speed limits and comply with rules such as leaving enough distance between vehicles.

He also said that legal action would be taken against people who hamper traffic flow, particularly near mosques at prayer time.

He explained that Sharjah Police cooperate with Al Ehssan Charity association to distrubute iftar meal to motorists on the roads on a daily basis.

Ajman Police’s Traffic and Patrols Department also have put a comprehensive road safety plan in place, said Lieutenant Colonel Saif Abdullah Al Falasi, director of the traffic and patrol department of Ajman Police.

“To ensure all roads are safe, we will intensify our patrols on highways, intersections, roundabouts, shopping areas and crowded areas in all parts of Ajman city to maintain safety and security.”

As many as 40 traffic patrols and Aman patrols to monitor traffic flow as well as negative road behaviour have been deployed in the emirate.

Ras Al Khaimah Police will deploy 57 police patrols to monitor traffic flows and neighbourhoods.

As part of the campaign, there will be more security patrols deployed in residential neighbourhoods, markets and places of worship such as mosques. Security patrols will be on duty even during late night hours.

The campaign comes under the guidance of Major-General Ali Abdullah Alwan Al Naimi, Police Chief of Ras Al Khaimah, in order to implement the strategy of the Ministry of Interior with respect to enhancing security and safety in the emirate.

Fujairah Police have also stepped up patrols and will also target beggars and reckless motorcyclists.

Colonel Mohammad Rashid Bin Naya Al Tunaiji, Deputy Chief of Fujairah Police, said special teams will tackle “professional” beggars and motorcyclists who obstruct roads while performing dangerous stunts.

The extra units will focus on streets near mosques, commercial areas, shopping centres and Ramadan tents.

Road safety tips for Ramadan

Watch out for other road users

Be ready for unexpected situations

Plan your schedule properly and leave early to avoid the need of rushing and speeding

Always wear your seat belt

Don’t use mobile phones or lose track of the road situation