Pedestrian fatalities in Dubai saw a sharp drop to 36 last year from 59 cases in 2016 as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) steps up efforts to raise awareness among road users.

According to the RTA, constant upgrade of infrastructure and construction of footbridges has also helped improve pedestrian safety in the city.

Dubai currently has 113 foot bridges including nine that were constructed last year, with 167 new footbridges planned by 2023.

As part of its sustained awareness initiatives, the RTA recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs.

According to Maitha Mohammad Bin Adai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency, the signing of the MoU is an important step towards integrating efforts and sharing expertise with public and private entities.

“Our aim is to realise RTA’s traffic awareness strategy and reduce traffic-related injuries and deaths among labourers and pedestrians,” said Bin Adai.

She added that 27 per cent of those working in Dubai are labourers, and as such, they form an important segment in the traffic safety indicators in Dubai

“Under the MoU, we will share information related to traffic awareness among workers, and discuss initiatives and events to enhance workers’ traffic awareness. We will focus on measures to curb run-over accidents at hotspots that recorded the highest fatality rates among pedestrians over the past three years such as the Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, Emirates Road, and Jebel Ali Zone 1.”

She said that the RTA in cooperation with its partners has succeeded in reducing pedestrian fatalities from 59 cases in 2016 to 48 cases in 2017 and the number went further down to 36 till November last year.