Jay walkers crossing the busy Al Ittihad road putting their lives in danger in front of Ansar mall in Sharjah. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Jaywalking, according to police, is not the only reason why pedestrians are run over by cars.

The Traffic and Patrol Department at Sharjah Police have launched a campaign to aware both pedestrians and motorists on road safety.

Statistics by Sharjah Police showed that 24 pedestrian fatalities were reported in the first six months of this year, compared to 22 in 2016.  

In Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) also reported an increase in deaths with 49 fatalities in 2016, up from 33 in 2015. Dubai Police also pointed out that between January and November 2016, 64,458 jaywalkers were fined compared to 64,620 in 2015.

As part of Sharjah’s road safety campaign, pedestrians and drivers are reminded to abide by traffic rules and regulations, and warned people to only cross from designated areas, such as on zebra crossings and at intersections equipped with traffic signals and sidewalks.

Police explained the five reasons as to why fatalities occur among pedestrians, which include:

  1. Motorists intentionally not stopping for pedestrians at zebra crossings
  2. Speeding drivers who do not have time to see a person crossing the road
  3. Pedestrians who are either old, very young or visually impaired and do not have ample time to cross the road
  4. People crossing the road from undesignated areas
  5. Distracted pedestrians who cross the road without making sure it is free from vehicles

The awareness campaign also urged pedestrians to follow traffic regulations to avoid traffic-related accidents.

According to the amended federal traffic law, which came into effect on July 1, motorists who fail to give way to pedestrians will have to pay a Dh500 fine and receive six black points.

The fine for jaywalking is Dh200.

Did you know?

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) are trying out a sensor-enabled pedestrian traffic light in Dubai, which is expected to reduce run-over accidents.

The RTA installed the smart traffic light on Al Saada Street last January.

“The system of the signal is designed to eliminate the time allocated to pedestrians if it senses no pedestrians waiting on the pavement, thus providing more time for vehicles to pass," said Maitha Mohammad Bin Adai, chief executive officer of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency. 

In a previous Gulf News report, Bin Adai explained that the sensor-based pedestrian traffic light is equipped with an optical ground system that works in perfect harmony with traffic.

“It spots the movement of pedestrians on the pavement (before crossing the street) or on the crossing path (during crossing) and automatically modifies the timing of the signal accordingly. Thus, it allows the safe passage of the largest possible number of pedestrians and accordingly provides an excellent and smart service to all road users,” added Bin Adai.